Bowerbirds, ‘Upper Air’ (Dead Oceans)
The arrangements on this trio’s second album seem rickety — a strummed guitar flickers like an ember, an accordion visits like an occasional breeze. But these creaky songs are about things that endure. Sounding like a cross between William Wordsworth and Andrew Bird, singer Phil Moore imbues squishy concepts like yearning and ambition with the sturdiness of natural imagery and plain melodies. “For what it’s worth, I draw my breath from an ancient earth,” he offers on “Chimes.” Somehow, it comes off like a solemn profession of love instead of a druid’s mantra.