On his second record, the Minnesota based singer-songwriter Mark Schirmacher blends his take on life and love into wistful folk songs that have their roots in his personal life and also in the lives of people places and things he’s observed and weaved into his own songwriting process. And this is the primary function of the folk singer as I’ve always understood it, which is to bring people and places to life via song. And like any good folk artist Schirmacher makes sure that the instrumentation, much like a color palette of a painter, remains right for each mood and setting that he is creating for each of the seven songs found on this new record, Bird in Your Tree.
Bird in Your Tree opens with the slow and twangy romance of “Satisfied.” I found it to have a tinge of the Irish dirge to it, both in the way it is paced, and in the way that Schirmacher is able to spin a tale out of his lyrics, the properly placed details having just enough flash and metaphor for us to get a complete picture out of just a few words. I think the same can be said for the title track “Bird in Your Tree” which takes a slightly faster pace and elects a different effect both in its happier tone, and the brass elements; here a trumpet sings bird-like alongside Schirmacher as he spins his tale of metaphorical love like “I love you like the scrabbly pine/towering rest for freeloaders and vines / In your shade the owl spits her bones / and fearful birds create their homes.”
Schirmacher’s ability to create moods with seeming ease is something that really stands out on Bird in Your Tree. He sounds a bit like a mixture of Iron & Wine and the softer, and more poetic side of Death Cab on “Longest Night” and then reminded me a bit of Neil Young on his six-plus minute slow and stolid story song “Old Man (Laughter in the Lines).” He closes the record out beautifully though with the plush and poetic “Are You Okay?”
Bird in Your Tree is a solid batch of songs in the folk genre and Schirmacher is a worthy practitioner and someone who is devoted to his craft. This shows through on each of the seven songs here, as each is put together with gentle meticulousness and as each offers a little something different from the last and yet leaves the listener with a sense of having heard something wholly beautiful and as original as a chorus of birds.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook