In typical fashion, Hollywood rolled out its best dramas this winter, each vying for Oscar consideration. Few, though, have been the subject of as much conversation and praise as Black Swan. Anchored by Natalie Portman’s virtuoso performance as an unbalanced dancer, the film has spent the last few months firmly embedded in the national zeitgeist.
Amid all the film talk, it would be easy to overlook The Black Swans. The Columbus, OH folk act isn’t even a movie, but rather a band. And though Black Swan prominently featured music — specifically ballet — you probably won’t find the flannel-wearing trio doing jetés or pirouettes. Continue reading…
Fact: there are more albums in existence today than ever before, and, as more albums are released in the future, that number will most likely increase. We, the intrepid writers for Owl&Bear, stand at the frothy frontline of this constant deluge of new music, bravely filling buckets with the good stuff and presenting it as sweet sustenance to our parched readers. We perpetually receive music from PR people, begging us to check out undiscovered artists, and a lot of it is, quite frankly, underwhelming. But once in a while we come across a diamond in the rough, something that grabs us by the ears and doesn’t let go. And so it happened that, mere seconds into hearing “If You” (MP3), I became a fan of Boy Without God.
Hailing from Massachusetts, famed home of the sassy Congressman, Boy Without God is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Birnbaum. His new album, Your Body Is Your Soul, which sounds like Neutral Milk Hotel if they’d been fronted by Johnny Cash, has been on constant rotation in the Owl&Bear offices lately and is shaping up to be one of the best albums of the year. Birnbaum was kind enough to share his influences with us for our newest installment of Poetic Memory.
Poetic Memory is a regular Owl and Bear feature in which musicians disclose their influences—whether it’s albums, songs, artists, or something random. If you’re interested in being featured here, send us an email. Continue reading
Owl and Bear’s list of albums that almost made the cut in 2008.