Augie March Strange Bird

Every country has its fair share of artists that never receive the praise they deserve outside the borders of their native land and there’s a very good chance that the members of Augie March thought that Strange Bird was going to remain undiscovered outside their native Australia. Jump forward two years and their critically acclaimed second album has been given a new lease of life. That’s a good thing too because Strange Bird is an epic album that deserves to stand on the same pedestal as Mercury Rev’s Deserter’s Songs and the Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin. It shares a similar wide and varied palate, with many different folk and rock influences that somehow hold together. Songwriter and vocalist Glenn Richards appears to have deliberately shunned the conventions that are demanded by standard pop songs, preferring rambling, oblique tunes and poetic lyrics that can take several listens before they finally reveal all their charms. That makes this an album continually full of surprises and delights as it slowly wins over its listeners. Yet it always feels like there are many remaining secrets that may or may not be given up, which is where much of its appeal comes from. Strange Bird is a very special album and considering it has already taken two years to reach Canadian shores, it would be foolish to wait any longer before succumbing to it. (Spinart)