The Wooden Birds – Two matchsticks
A flawless rhythm and inviting voices to a world made of perfect chemistry and understanding among the members of a band. That makes me wonder if only the real world could be like that…
A new concept has gathered Matt Pond, Andrew Kenny (American Analog Set), Leslie Sisson and Sean Haskins, a gathering that has been named ‘The Wooden Birds’. This also sounds like a dream team of a band to me.
These geniuses have delivered (June the 7th) their 2nd album, Two Matchsticks, with 12 pieces that manage to be both organic and retro, and yet so dreamy that every single note could take you far away into a nice and desired getaway.
Matt Pond (guitar) and Andrew Kenny (vocals/lead guitar) happen to be two musicians I consider ‘music geniuses’, as there are few people who know better how to materialize every single idea through an accurate musical technique, yet preserving that soul of them so neat and honest to give you the goose bumps; it is then that you hopelessly fall for their world.
There are 12 pieces in this magic world that include an electroacoustic guitar perfectly tuned with the vibe of electronic instruments, a gentle heartbeat in the shape of drums (courtesy of Sean Haskin) and velvet tones from a kind voice (Leslie Sisson).
Texture is a common synonym to every song, as motifs interlace and create a multi-color blanket ready to receive the protagonists of your happiest memories and your present tense. This is how minimalistic becomes the new complex.
The sentences coming from the throats of guitars become an exploration of what harmony means in the classroom, yet every twist is enriching and feeds our souls with hope in every ascending scale. This can be proven from the very first track, ‘Folly Club’.
‘Two Matchsticks’ becomes the first single for this album. The formula reading ‘the simplest is the most complex’ is applied to a melody that seems to keep us on the edge, waiting for the big explosion, which is mostly covered by two impatient and constant guitars in the air. As the song develops, a discrete crescendo complemented with the perfect harmony of a chorus comes forward to calm down our spirits.
As an aside, the Two Matchsticks Single was released previously and included two other songs (I highly recommend them), which are basically covers to Kenny Roger’s ‘Ruby don’t Take Your Love to Town’, and Hall & Oates’ ‘Maneater’. I dare to say both songs were magically reinvented, and definitely became an invitation to keep on waiting for the album! It’s amazing just how lyrics can gain another meaning when done at other tempos and they soar over different sounds assembled. Best of all, you can get it free from their Facebook fan page.
‘Cross my Heart’ is definitely vintage poetry, one that would lead you to sunsets through pictures with opaque colors, no HD involved. The guitar riff will really rock your world softly and steal a smile from your face.
The vintage atmosphere continues and comes across with strong lyrics from ‘Criminals Win’ “I never believed in love (…)”, then ‘Company Time’ takes the lead as the paroxytone part of the speech. Excellent guitar solos!
A syncopate composition proceeds titled ‘Warm to the Blade’, where rhythm is basically held by the acoustic guitar and gives a solid playground to the lead guitar to speak its heart out.
‘Baby Jeans’ is where Leslie Sisson takes the lead and produces mellow notes just to melt our worlds and let them flow. Female / Male voices are assembled flawlessly in every detail. ‘Too Pretty to Say Please’, a rather innocent title to continue with the merry vibe we’ve been getting through this album; however, lyrics may present a parallel world.
At this point I really need to catch my breath. I’m amazed by the accuracy this band displays when it comes to composition, as to know the exact moment to take the song to the edge, to take music structures so aesthetically as the pieces of a Lego Set and extend our amazement; it’s like witnessing magic through the eyes of an innocent child.
The end approaches and 4 cards remain (‘Struck by Light’), the ones that fluently continue their talking through their very own language (‘Secrets’) of unexpected twists and magic tricks, the ones that bring new and genuine experiences (‘Be no Lie’).
The last trick is called ‘Long Time to Lose It’, and this one left me speechless, as there’s a nostalgic sentence in common words and in the tongue of guitar: its elegant riff will depict the bottom of a heart with deep scars of consequences and longing, a basic idea that develops a muffled cry, a desperate scream in the middle of a lonely island. The closing of this heart comes with a chorus by all band members: “It takes a long time to lose it”.
There’re different ways to go further up / down the paradigm, to create a universe and introduce it to the rest of the world we all share. This is an invitation to take the best from the past, just a proof that past and present can coexist in a perfect balance of dreams and asphalt.
Thanks to The Wooden Birds for having their hearts in their hands, for melting them down and create one so unique and beautiful, and then share it with whoever is willing to listen.
You can stream this album at Spinner.