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Published: 2016/11/18
by Ron Hart

Paper Bird
Paper Bird

The thing about big, brassy country music that might annoy many of those from the No Depression school of listening is that it’s a style largely applied to the overt commercialization of the genre. But when the formula is applied to the music of a group who has more in line with Uncle Tupelo than Sugarland, the results can be pure magic. Such is the case of Denver, Colorado’s Paper Bird, a co-ed sextet who takes the glossy formula of Music City USA and gives it a good dunk in a Topanga Canyon stream on their excellent, eponymously titled new album. And with the addition of new vocalist Carleigh Aikins to the line-up, who joins singers Sarah Anderson and Genevieve Patterson to create a heavenly coven of melodies that surely rivals the recent union of Laura Viers, KD Lang and Neko Case in terms of harmonic unity on tracks like “To the Light,” “I Don’t Mind” and “Sunday,” a beautiful fusion of doo-wop and mid-70s Fleetwood Mac that you simply must hear for yourself. And oh yeah, it certainly doesn’t hurt that the person producing Paper Bird was none other than John Oates of Hall & Oates, who knows a thing or two about turning pop sheen into pure gold. If there were more groups like Paper Bird in mainstream country, I’d be watching CMT all the time.

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