Birds, Beasts, & Flowers, a six-song EP split between Hem and the Autumn Defense, works surprisingly well as a single artistic endeavor. Each band trades off its songs, instead of dividing the album into separate sections, and the result works quite nicely. Each group accompanies the other remarkably by exploring different textures within the same atmospheric vibe without destroying or distracting from the mood of the previous song, but also without sacrificing its own unique and specific sounds. Likely no surprise to fans of the two bands, Hem's three tracks explore simpler and more folk-oriented orchestrations while the Autumn Defense's contributions have a slightly greater pop influence. If you are only familiar with one group or the other, Birds, Beasts, & Flowers is an excellent place to discover another likeminded band while grabbing three new songs from the band you already know.
AllMusic Review by Gregory McIntosh