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Consider The Birds

Woven Hand
Consider The Birds
(Sounds Familyre)

David Eugene Edwards is a busy musician. In addition to having churned out many albums now as Sixteen Horsepower, his Woven Hand side-project has been on a roll with a sound that's not very far removed from his other group. On earlier albums, Woven Hand seemed to be the more stripped-down and meditative outlet for the contemplations of Edwards, but as he moves forwards the line seems to be blurring between the two even more. While it also features some quieter tracks (several of which are just Edwards and a guitar or banjo), Consider The Birds also rollicks with a ferver that easily matches his loudest work ever.

In fact, the album opens with "Sparrow Falls," and while it starts out with the quiet chug of piano, quiet percussion and guitars, it builds quickly into something more forceful, climaxing with a lovely wash of noise that punctuates the vocals of Edwards. "To Make A Ring" mixes in some middle-eastern instrumentation while the track marches forth in an increasingly primal way, building to an almost feverish pitch.

Lyrically, Edwards is in the same territory as usual, with a heavy dose of Biblical references that frame struggles and questioning and confrontation. On "Chest Of Drawers," his dark lyrical framework calls to mind the work of Flannery O'Connor, and the stripped-down nature of the track adds to the potency even more. One thing that can be said about Edwards is that his music is remarkably consistent. Having had a hand in well over one album per year for the past 6 years or so, his work is always engaging and although it stays in similar territory, he manages to keep things sounding fresh. Considering he also played a majority of the instrumentation on the album, it has to be said that David Eugene Edwards is one of the more talented artists working in his genre right now.

Rating: 7.5