The Soft Hills - The Bird Is Coming Down To Earth
With its jarring mix of country, 70s soft rock and atmospheric pop, The Soft Hills threaten to collapse into bathos, and in less hands, many of the songs on "The Bird Is Coming Down To Earth" would be trite confections. But in their hands, these ten tracks have an honest, compassionate poetic foundation. You believe The Soft Hill when they talk about love, children, dreams as much as you believe their ease with which they meander their way from simple folk melody to distorted shoegaze guitar. As with their previous two releases, "The Bird Is Coming Down To Earth" rings true in all its guises.
The gorgeous anthems to hope "Phoenix" and "River Boat" begin things on a gentle note, quickly enhanced and contrasted by the psych epic "Purple Moon" and "Apples," a melodic and beautiful but slightly menacing dreamscape. The instant classic "The Great Undiscovered" follows, a brittle and gritty masterpiece that somehow manages to incorporate all the varied sounds and emotions present on this great record. It is a brilliant, draining performance.
It is hard to top that, and they don't, but there is still much to love on the rest of the way, from the echoing, minimal ballads "Moon on Water" and "Hills Like White Elephants" to the simple brilliance of the moving acoustic gem "Dawn at the Devil's Golf Course."
It is hard not to gush over the simple cosmic mastery of The Soft Hills. From the most fragile of melodies to over the top distortion, the band knows how to deliver an emotional wallop in almost every song. "The Bird Is Coming Down To Earth" is a keeper, a powerful, comforting and inspired record that is impossible to forget.
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