Our Brother the Native Sacred Psalms

Pared down to a duo, OBTN seem to have discovered a slightly more lucid spirit guide to follow on this third full-length. Joshua Bertram and Chaz Knapp, both barely into their 20s, are still adventurers into, and melders of, twilit global musical forms, but with a firmer grasp on the western pop trope. Easy but accurate comparisons to Animal Collective's earlier acoustic and ecstatic campfire songs paint part of the picture. However, for every song like opener "Well Bred" that thrives on adrenaline and a layered choir of vocals and horns there is a "Sores," featuring a simple and mournful folk song atop the bongo/sitar/gamelan exoticism. Certain tracks have a jammed-out feel where competing found sounds and meandering samples eventually stumble across the song proper. "Behold" has a repeated lyric that states, "There is no use in holding back/this is who we are," and that is as good a self-descriptor of OBTN's approach to music making as any critic could ascribe. It's best just to relax and enjoy the overflow. (Fat Cat)