Artist: Bowerbirds Album: Hymns For A Dark Horse Release Date: 18th August Label: Dead Oceans Link: www.myspace.com/bowerbirds Preview: Bowerbirds are a nu-folk band from Raleigh, North Carolina. The band members are Beth Tacular, Phil Moore and Mark Paulson and Hymns For A Dark Horse is their debut album. Originally it was released in July of 2007 on Burly Time Records but is now released via Dead Oceans with two extra tracks. Originally just a duo comprising of Phil Moore and Beth Tacular they soon expanded to include Mark Paulson prior to creating the album. Highlight: About three minutes into 'The Ticonderoga' when it drops down and then the banjo comes in and 'Olive Hearts' In it's entirety. Lowlight: None to mention. Seriously. Overview: Starting with impressive 'Hooves' Bowerbirds set out their stool and their stool is firmly placed within a folky barn in the middle of some forest with a creek. It has the same isolated feel that Bon Iver recently displayed on 'For Emma, Forever Ago' but with more of a community feel. Like group isolation. Harmonies wise they're spot on and thus it creates a contender to Fleet Foxes claim to be the harmony kings of 2008, just check out 'In Our Talons' for proof of that.  The similarities between the two bands don't just stop there, the topics sung about and the music itself often feel the same but with the Bowerbirds you get less grandeur. Which isn't a bad thing at all. Often with the Fleet Foxes album, as much as it's great, i still felt disconnected with some of the songs, whereas this album pulls you in and doesn't let you go. If this album doesn't make my end of year top ten then the second half of this year must have been perfect. Favourite Lyric: "With my toes dangling into the sea/into a fog/into a lonely drink/don't lift me up/I'm a wreck i know/Still, I've got miles to walk from the cape along the coast" Rating: 9/10