Breathe Owl Breathe

Passage of Pegasus

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Long-running Michigan trio Breathe Owl Breathe spun their intricate sound so patiently and considerately over the course of more than a decade that they slowly transcended the folk and indie scenes they were born from, growing into an entity based on storytelling and instrumentation that became more unique and unexpected with subsequent releases. Sixth album Passage of Pegasus finds the band coming into its finest hour so far, with singer/songwriter Micah Middaugh's endlessly descriptive lyrics breathed out in a Bill Callahan-esque croon and absorbed by the woven tapestry of counter-melodies, production, and shifting instrumentation from bandmates Trevor Hobbs and Andréa Moreno-Beals. Distinguished by Moreno-Beals' Zen-like cello lines and Hobbs' multi-instrumental juggling, the joyful and reaching instrumentation accentuates Middaugh's vividly imaginative lyrics on tunes like the monster movie meets awkward mumblecore movie soundtracking of "Silent Movie Reel" and the electro-tinged character study song "Explorer." Passage of Pegasus represents Breathe Owl Breathe at their height of experimentation in production, and also finds the trio calling on some friends they made on tour to help out with the proceedings, with guest spots from folk legends like Michael Hurley and Victoria Williams as well as indie luminaries from Little Wings and Fruit Bats. Approaching a dreamlike state while remaining rooted in a decidedly earthy sound, Passage of Pegasus is the strongest work from the band so far, and points to even further progress toward something fearlessly unique and songs as curious as they are exacting.

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