Bobby Birdman Heart Caves EP

[States Rights; 2003]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: indie rock, electronic
Others: [[[VVRSSNN]]], Figurine, Little Wings, (smog), Mount Eerie

Once again not content with repeating himself, Rob Kieswetter (aka Bobby Birdman) shifts from the pastoral/electronic sounds of the exquisite Born Free Forever (one of the strongest releases of 2003, by the way) to a fully electronic alternative that fuses the melodies of an artist like Kyle Fields (Little Wings) with Jimmy Tamborello-like electronic explorations. Although the instrumentation is a few notches apart from Born Free Forever, Birdman retains the lazy and near-lethargic songwriting that made that album such a beautiful record (Bobby Birdman is from the Pacific Northwest; did you expect anything less?) Snail-paced and replete with indelible hooks, Heart Caves is like a black and white Polaroid of the romantic flirting between the laptop and the traditional songwriting paradigms of rock. Sure, this hybridization is nothing new, but Birdman's execution is near flawless. Aside from the seamless segues and flawless mood changes, perhaps most interesting on this 6-track EP is Birdman's ability to recreate the fragility of an acoustic guitar with electronics. Every song is as delicate as an orchid, but any missed hit or unintentional note would still fit nicely in the mix. "And Then It Begins," one of the standout tracks, is a perfect example of how its looped electronics can still be deemed frail despite its repetitive, mechanical quality. Though Heart Caves is not as essential as say Born Free Forever, this EP may be a hint of things to come on the next long-player; and if that's the case, Bobby Birdman and his little wings will be flying high on the radar for years to come.

1. A Featuring So Bold
2. And Then It Begins
3. I Will Come Again
4. Gone Beyond
5. Let My Burden Be
6. Ultra Shape

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