Bow For Blade
Threads of Measure
Brown Bird—a Rhode Island duo whose debut, Salt for Salt, was named one of NPR's best folk albums of 2011—returns with the equally worthy Fits of Reason. With a cabaret slant brought to stringed instrumentation and percussive blocks of wood, the multi-instrumentalists David Lamb and Morgan Eve Swain make a grander sound than any two people should be capable. Acoustic guitars, banjos, violins, and cellos sail through the air, often with intent to harm. The instrumental "Iblis" is a scorcher that defines all that's great here. Violins and acoustic guitar follow one another through a Byzantine maze of notes that leaves listeners exhausted and exalted. The rustic country harmonies of "Wayward Daughter" turn Americana on its ear with an Eastern European gypsy sense that tilts the results toward acts like Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Gogol Bordello, with whom they're likely to share a similar and receptive audience.