Diane Cluck Macy's Day Bird / Black with Green Leaves

After appearing on the now infamous Golden Apples of the Sun compilation and well known to those keeping track of Devendra Banhart’s extended family, Diane Cluck seems to have garnered enough attention to give her back catalogue another go around. The full-length here, Macy’s Day Bird, was self-released in 2001 as was the accompanying EP. Those expecting the same out-there instrumentation or hushed experimentation found on other freak folk albums will be sorely disappointed in these efforts, as Ms. Cluck is quietly conventional except for her predilection for found sound and occasional off-key singing. Featuring a wonderfully adaptable voice, Ms. Cluck can sound formidable as on the title track, or even a little mysterious and alluring, as on "Yatzee Dice.” The accompanying EP is more of the same of Macy’s and, really, it starts to get a bit much. Sure, it’s slightly original and the intimacy evoked is actually quite surprising, but this means that Ms. Cluck is probably much more formidable live than on disc. Indeed, hearing the off-beat plucks and inherent longing from the woman herself than a cold stereo system is most likely the best way to hear the quixotic Diane Cluck. (Important)