Wickerbird - The Leaf Maker

Wickerbird is back with a third release, the second full length after 2013’s EP The Westering, titled The Leaf Maker. The album continues a pattern of lo-fi music driven by a lone guitar and layered vocals. It continues a consistent, almost too consistent, pattern for the artist. Depending on your previous experience with the artist, this album may not be to your liking.

Wickerbird is Blake Cowan. The story has it that he dropped out of college his sophomore year to move to Mt. Rainier, Washington. There he started recording natural sounds to include with his recordings. If it sounds like a familiar story, *cough cough* Bon Iver *cough cough*, the comparison doesn’t stop there. The music has all of the fingerprints of For Emma, Forever Ago.

That isn’t to say Wickerbird is a cut-rate Bon Iver. He isn’t. The music stands quite well on his own. This album is being released at the perfect time as well. The lo-fi nature, the sounds of nature, and the serene quality of the music mix together to make a great soundtrack for autumn.

It does get a bit repetitive though. I like the album, but I wanted to love the album. Unfortunately it got a little too repetitive for my taste. It has some clever breaks throughout. At various points a new chapter of the album is announced corresponding to different months in succession. There is also the inclusion of instrumental breaks. On the whole though, the sound doesn’t really change.

The other problem is the vocal layering. Sometimes it is done so thickly it obscures the lyrics. I would guess that may have been the point, but it bugs me. Still the songs do impact the emotions, even if you aren’t sure why.

Overall it makes for good ambient music. I’ve thrown the album on a couple of times when I’m getting ready to dig deep into a project. The melodies mixing in with nature are powerful without being overly distracting. I don’t love the album like I want to, but I still think it was worth the price.

You can hear the album for yourself at his Bandcamp site. Here he is with “Riverborn” the second single from the album.

The Leaf Maker
Self released
September 18th, 2015

Overall Score
88 %

A solid, if somewhat repetitive, lo-fi release.

Lyrics 93%
Music 85%
Artistry 83%

About The Author

System analyst by financial necessity. Writer by necessity of expression. DJ because music is in my Top 5 essentials for living. I grew up on a steady diet of comic books, science fiction/fantasy, and a wide variety of musical genres.

In addition to writing for Destroy the Cyborg I also produce a weekly podcast at Idiosyncratic Transmissions.

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