Unsound Records

Open Relationship

by Bird Names

Open Relationship

“Open Relationship” casts a sense of other place: we withdraw as to the shade umbrellaed down by a drug, ambiguous moods finger upon us, a merry aura sustains of familiar disconcert, of dream trauma, of expression marbled over in the language of the occult. It is pop music: mostly simple, melodic, and mostly not progressive. After the heart of Bob Wills, Joe Meek, the Beach Boys. The songs go many places, happy, domed, dancerly, cold, but each one landscaped (dense, considered), of one voice, and in a walker’s tempo. Four and five voices speak over one another, as at bar, and the listener blisses, hypnotized.

Bird Names has outputted music with a recording-focused methodology for four years. This newest album, “Open Relationship,” represents a summit in these labors. Collaborating with producer Griffin Rodriguez (Beirut, Need New Body, Akron /Family, Man Man), Bird Names domesticate their willful sloppiness, shampooing and then combing the collateral harshness of past works. A spirit of vital rawness, core to the band, does linger, but a more considered playing of the studio enlightens what could be foggy arrangements with buoyant aural space, and crisply articulates the music’s baroque imperfections. Working with quarter-inch tape (a leap of fidelity from their usual cassette) feeds the balmy mood, and proves an elastic medium from which strange sparkle can be rung (from pervasive A.M. radio-style sheens to bizarrely brambled crunches).

“Open Relationship” will demand compulsive, love-like listens. “Open Relationship” follows September 2007’s “Wooden Lake Sexual Diner” (Unsound Records), and will be followed by a 10" EP in late-June on Pecan Crazy. A limited edition vinyl run of “Open Relationship” will be the first release on Dan Deacon’s Wham City Records this summer. Bird Names live in Chicago.