The Wooden Birds Magnolia

The Wooden Birds Magnolia
After more than a decade of surfing contrails with his blissful buds in American Analog Set, Andrew Kelly has planted his boots firmly on the dusty Texas real estate. The Wooden Birds aren't exactly a ZZ-Top tribute band though — their twang's more skeletal and confessional. Magnolia evokes the late night after-party circle that tightens around the embers of the fire pit. Intimately recorded guitar is held in check with shakers and carrying case percussion, while Kelly's hushed vocals ease their way into your ear. American Analog Set habitué Leslie Sisson lends harmony vocals that bolster the more canter-paced tracks like "Hailey" and "Anna Paula." There is a bit of borrowing from Death Cab and Iron and Wine for the melodies but the album is more or less a whole. Its ease and warmth sustain it through the brief dozen tracks but just, with familiarity edging towards contempt as the strings fade to black. (Barsuk)