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Boomkat Product Review:
Thanks to the increasingly excellent Dead Oceans label, Bowerbirds' Hymn For A Dark Horse has been granted an official UK release, complete with two bonus tracks. Apparently the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle is a massive supporter of this band, and it's easy to see the appeal: opening track 'Hooves' approaches the sublime in its simple yet profoundly heartstring-tugging combination of sloppily strummed acoustic guitar and elegant strings. It's the first track in a triptych of tracks whose titles draw on animal extremities (the others being 'In Our Talons' and 'Human Hands') and a superb way of starting a record. There's a folksiness permeating the entire release, but one that comes closer to Joanna Newsom than anything traditional: the simple configurations of booming drums, plaintive 6-string backdrops and the occasional scraps of accordion, piano and violin all combine with a magical lightness of touch, elevating Bowerbirds to something far more rewarding and interesting than your average US indie fops.