Tuesday, May 17, 2011




Hill” (self-released)

✰✰✰ — Falling somewhere

among Belle and

Sebastian, Rilo Kiley

and Fleetwood Mac

come the Winebirds, a

Portland, Ore., quintet

whose breezy, sometimes hippie-like rock

makes their first album “Séance Hill” a nice

building block for the future.

The 12 cuts mix breezy pop, earnest folkleaning

ballads, and even some girl-group

posturing (check out “Vanity” for more

on that).

Their guy/girl vocal approach isn’t anything

new but fits them just fine. Guitarist

Reggie (they eschew surnames in all their

press materials) has a quivering, hoarse

approach to his vocals, giving them humanity,

and he shines brightest on “Out in the

Van” and “The New Oregon Trail,” where

he sounds like Elvis Costello.

They score early with tongue-in-cheek “I

Obscenity In Thy Mother’s Milk” (where

Rose and Lauren add their lush harmonies)

and closing ballad “The Hill” has a quiet

winter’s feel to it. (BK)

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