Maygen & The Birdwatcher “Moonshine”

Northern Bird Music, 2021

A beautiful, melodic and refreshing take on life’s everyday realities.

artwork for Maygen & The Birdwatcher album "Moonshine"Originally a duo, Maygen (Lacey) and The Birdwatcher (Noah Neumann), recently expanded to a five-piece with stunning results. Every song on this album is fabulously produced. The clarity of the vocals, the harmonies and each instrument, be it the guitar, fiddle, banjo, bass, drums or mandolin, all feature distinctly yet blend effortlessly in the exquisite mixes courtesy of Kris “KJ” Johnson.

The opening song, ‘Change Is‘, has a calming, spiritual narrative showcasing Lacey’s gentle yet full-bodied vocal, which is enhanced by Neumann’s haunting harmonies. In the duet ‘Dominé‘, the pair interweaves their vocals, complementing one another impeccably with Neumann’s enchanting sound – a velvety blend of Van Morrison and Simone Felice. Just wonderful. All the while, Jesse Moravec’s fiddle playing provides a secure backdrop to this sensational song. Checking out the fun video for ‘Dominé‘ is a must.

Jigsaw‘ recently featured here at AUK, is a feel-good, universally appealing family song of togetherness as well as the potential fragility of family life, delivered by Lacey’s fine and assured vocal. The pacey, upbeat ‘Full Moons‘ follows with another strident duet. Again the combination of instruments featured and mixed with excellence.

Lacey then takes the lead with the ethereal ‘Antidote‘. The lyrics of which tell the story of a wilful personality that benefits from the balance of their partners’ influences.

I know I’m stubborn, and I take too long to come around.
Your constant patience is the key that brings my walls down.
The way I’m made was written in the stars light years ago.
You must have been there though, ‘cuz honey, you’re my antidote“.
Another fabulous showcase of Lacey’s gorgeous vocal, at times evocative of a refined Chrissie Hind.

Your Side‘ pledges never-ending love with charming style with the sensitive yet hearty declaration “I’m never leaving your side“. ‘Gunflint Lake‘ is a lovely, gentle saga with a tremendous musical outro followed by another of the many highlights of this album ‘Anytime‘. This bluesy duet features a smokey, passionate & committed vocal from Neumann, which Lacey tempers with her rich, melodious retorts. Utterly fabulous.

It is worth repeating that with one highlight after another, this is a stunning album.

9/10
9/10

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