Snowbird: Moon (Bella Union) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #49 - February/March 2014 - PortlandiaSnowbird


Bella Union

Mar 20, 2014 Issue #49 - February/March 2014 - Portlandia Bookmark and Share

Few bands have put out albums in the past year that have shimmered quite so much as Lanterns on the Lake’s utterly sublime Until the Colours Run. In terms of shimmer it was close to Radiohead’s level; a band who themselves are arguably only out-shimmered by, say, Cocteau Twins. Snowbird is a supergroup: one that comprises members of Lanterns on the Lake, Midlake, Radiohead, and Cocteau Twins.

This album, shockingly enough, shimmers. It shimmers until the word no longer makes sense when you write it, until the soft glacial music, the icy wind-swept world outside your window and the image of a snow-white dove gliding through cool blue skies above a crisp, glittering, frosty world all blend together until you’re convinced you can see your breath.

Moon is the project of former Cocteau Twin and Bella Union label boss Simon Raymonde, but there’s no sense of him dominating the album. The biggest namesdrummer Philip Selway and ethereal guitar textures god Ed O’Brien of Radioheadcombine with Midlake’s Eric Pulido and McKenzie Smith, Lanterns on the Lake’s Paul Gregory, and Jonathan Wilson to create a backdrop of delicate rhythms and electronic orchestration, leaving vast sonic auditoriums for piano and Stephanie Dosen’s delicate voice to dance light-footedly around. Every song here is gossamer, be it the pop affections of “Bears on My Trail” or the hazy ballad “All Wishes Are Ghosts.”

Bella Union alumnus Dosen is very much the standout performer on the album. Her voice is spectral but without falling back into Ellie Goulding-esque flimsiness. Its delicacy contributes to the overall sense of fragile iciness and this is combined with nature-themed songstitles include “I Heard the Owl Call My Name,” “Charming Birds From Trees,” “Where Foxes Hide,” “We Carry White Mice,” and “Heart of the Woods”to create as organic and affecting an album as any you’ll find. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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