Common Wealth is Bird By Snow’s 4th LP, and their 1st record made outside of their own lo-fi home studio. But Bird By Snow stays true to their analog roots by conducting ceremony with tape alchemist Tim Green who recorded and produced this album and has cast countless other magic spells with artists such as Joanna Newsom, Daniel Higgs, Wolves in the Throne Room, and a multitude more.
Common Wealth is a watershed of song, an album of arrangements that behave more like an ecosystem. The interdependence of the instruments that dwell in the wilds of this record give the impression that the sounds here create themselves and all other sounds simultaneously.
This album begins when a shaker wakes in the darkness, the first sign of approaching warmth, like spring thaw on a frozen river. The icy shaker that floats on the water is joined by skin drums resounding from the hillside, and by pump-organs migrating over-head with geese. The cirrus clouds are spectral piano trills; the marching cumulous clouds, piano bass-lines. Steel drums, autoharps, vibraphones and dulcimers burst suddenly from under rocks like crawfish. Voices high and mellow dance on the surface of the water with flecks of sunlight. The boulders churning in the deepest pools are the bass, the cymbals, and a thundering gong. And the flow of the river itself, the invisible energy, is guitars, electric and nylon. This river flows between an ancient glacier and a vast ocean. The mind glacier melts into poetry, lyrics that travel with those sound sediments back to the source: the endless ocean of gratitude, and openness.
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