With their freshman self-titled album ‘Mimicking Birds’ and sophomore album ‘Eons’ showcasing singer Nate Lacy’s eerie but soulful voice and the band’s eclectic folk sound, their newest album ‘Layers of Us’ solidifies their folk status while adding a new element of electric flair, keeping with the tone of their previous collections of work while continuing to experiment with different looping and recording methods. Originally started as a solo project by singer Lacy, it soon became a trio with additional band members Aaron Hanson on drums and percussion and Adam Trachsel on bass and keys, after signing with Glacial Pace Recordings in 2008. Their latest collective work mixes bright tones with melancholy electronics, keeping with their sometimes cheerful, but always avant-garde music.
Their first song “Dust Layers” opens with electric guitar quickly followed by the distant sound of Lacy’s voice and light drums. Electric distortion towards the middle of the song interrupts its tranquil atmosphere giving it an unnerving sense, but the drums keep it upbeat. “Another Time” picks up the pace, feeling similar to a classic rock ballad. Lacy’s stays much the same, helping cement the feeling that this is a Mimicking Birds song. Their next song, “Sunlight Daze”, is described by Lacy as giving off the sensation of “sun toned traveling” which is emphasized in the lyrics as well. He says, “[they] layered a wall of keyboards against a Latin drum and bass feel that propels [the song] into outer space, and crashes back to Earth”. Following their traveling sunbeam song is “Island shore”, a semi-tropical feeling rock song about internal exploding volcanoes. The song begins with electric guitar and what sounds like woodwind chimes in the background, which transports you to the deck of an island cottage getaway as Lacy sings over the track.
One of Mimicking Birds greatest traits is their ability to translate the feeling and emotion behind the title of the song into the music, which they do incredibly with their song “Great Wave”. Opening with long guitar notes and high pitched electronics, you feel as if you are taking off from the shore on a ship, heading out to sea, as Lacy swiftly sings lyrics over the song. Coming to the chorus, Lacy repeats the words “the great wave” but prolongs it as if he himself is imitating the ebb and flow of the ocean as swells form and waves crash. Finally, drums kick in as the synths build to a loud crescendo and you feel as if the ship is watching the ocean build into a large wave that is about to come crashing down on you, submerging you beneath the sea. The drums stop and the synths slow and Lacy repeats the chorus, bringing the ocean to a still once again. Returning to their grassroots, their next song, “A part” opens with a banjo followed by drums. Lacy’s singing remains the same – smooth, slow and soulful. “Belongings” is a synth love ballad that Lacy sees as conveying “the perspective that we are all here functioning as part of a larger entity”. “Lumens” returns to a slow acoustic guitar tone, accompanied by synths. “Time to Waste” is short and sweet at 1:05, and feels like a short break before their final song, “One Eyed Jack”, which returns to a more rock electric feel, ending with the sounds of a flock of birds calling out to one another.
Although not as folk rock as their previous albums, ‘Layers of Us‘ may see Mimicking Birds attracting a new set of fans with their soulful electric sound and Lacy’s voice that reminds one of Icelandic band Sigur Ross’s singer Jonsi.
Mimicking Birds will be touring much of 2018 with a stop in Los Angeles on February 11th at the Teragram Ballroom. For tickets, click here!
To preorder Mimicking Bird’s new album ‘Layers of Us‘, click here!