The Crow Mother


Independent release, 2012

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


There are two things about Wickerbird that will smack the listener right in the face the instant one listens to The Crow Mother: one, this very much a DIY project, and two, it wants to make the whole experience of folk music sound as earthy as possible, as if it is trying to bring the campfire home. This solo project by Blake Cowan is as stripped down as it can be musically. The acoustic guitar and the vocals are all that my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Crow Mother is made up of, leaving the music bereft of any rhythmic percussive elements. But though stylistically similar, Wickerbird is no Nick Drake, or even José González for that matter.

Considering the DIY nature of this project, there is no website for Wickerbird other than a Bandcamp page with not much information, and bare-bones Facebook page, which has a one line band-description that perfectly characterizes its music: “The moniker of Blake Cowan’s solo dream-folk project, crafted one rainy day in the wild woods of Washington State.” The songs on The Crow Mother are literally played over a backdrop of various sounds of the outdoors – crickets at nighttime, campfire, distant sound of train horn, critters chirping, falling rain, etc. None of these sounds seem contrived; they all have an organic feel, as if Cowan actually went out on a field-recording mission in the forest.

Cowan tries to keep the sound of the album as rustic and under-produced as possible, but the music in general has an ethereal “Fleet Foxes” atmosphere, with tunes that are moody and gorgeous. Although the songs themselves are stripped-down, Cowan adds airy celestial vocal effects that totally change their dynamics. And with the different bucolic sounds further enhancing the music, the final package is nothing less than a dreamy, awe-inspiring experience that will take the listener on a haunting musical journey through the great outdoors that they will cherish forever.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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