ALBUM REVIEW: “The Bird Is Coming Down to Earth” by The Soft Hills

February 13. 2012 | By Jon Patton

The Soft Hills
The Bird Is Coming Down to Earth
[Tapete Records]

In the first minute of “Pheonix,” the opening track on their third album, The Bird Is Coming Down to Earth, Seattle’s The Soft Hills show off all their strengths: the beautiful reverb-drenched vocals of songwriter Garrett Hobba, lush backgrounds, and the deft use of silence to highlight perfect harmonies. Everything here is relaxing. It’s perfect music for shutting your eyes and just getting lost for an hour.

“Quietness” is thematic with The Soft Hills, and water, night, and darkness are touchstones for song titles and lyrics on this album (“Midnight Owls” “Purple Moon,” “River Boat,” “Tidal Wave”) and much like they have been in the past on songs like “Radiant Dream” from Noruz. The heavily influence of Eastern philosophy and American and European writers like Hemingway and Hesse puts a magical realism spin on their psychedelic isomerism. Check out these lines from “It Won’t Be Long”:

You make me free again
As we let up our kites and run through the wind
I’ll come to you again
I’ll crowd your hair with silver
you fill my sails with glitter

The Bird is Coming Down to Earth ends with the gently fingerpicked “Falling Leaves.” A line from this song “Hear the cool river flow” is a good way to describe the experience of listening to this album of intense beauty.

Stream tracks from The Soft Hills here:
The Soft Hills by thesofthills

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