The Lord Dog Bird Makes An Introverted Anthem

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "The Gift of Song in the Lion's Den"
  • Artist: The Lord Dog Bird
  • CD: The Lord Dog Bird
  • Genre: Folk
The Lord Dog Bird 300

In "The Gift of Song in the Lion's Den," The Lord Dog Bird's Colin McCann crafts a low-fidelity confessional. courtesy of The Lord Dog Bird hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of The Lord Dog Bird

As guitarist for the Baltimore band Wilderness, Colin McCann creates cerebral and spacious art-rock. Now on extended hiatus from his full-time gig, McCann has composed a beautiful and emotionally raw solo debut under the moniker The Lord Dog Bird.

Compared to Wilderness' music and its wider instrumental scope, The Lord Dog Bird sounds introverted, even confined. McCann's songs are stark — often accompanied by little more than slightly out-of-sync guitars or a droning Wurlitzer piano — but they contain fragile, interwoven melodies that seem ready to dissipate at any second.

McCann's decision to record his entire album on a four-track tape machine proves inspired, as the tinny imperfections and prominent analog hiss add character to the songs; the result feels like eavesdropping on a confessional. While most of the arrangements are stripped down, with an emphasis on the silent spaces between the notes, "The Gift of Song in the Lion's Den" has a more energetic feel. As McCann sings — "The lion's den is stretching out before our eyes / We're in the thick of it / You and I must not pretend" — the rhythmic drive of drums and guitars propels his wailing tenor, giving the album the anthem it needed.

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