This blog probably owes Alicia Merz (aka Birds of Passage) an apology, after featuring her stunning work no less than five times in 2011, I've not featured her here since. Let's blame the sheer volume of artists to feature and lack of time for that. The return here is catapulted by the news of her third album This Kindly Slumber recently released (and available to order) via Denovali.
The first track I heard from the release "Belle Du Jour" is instantly familiar as Alicia embraces the chilly air of sparse, haunting atmosphere, slowly reveling itself amongst layers of droning instrumentation and poetic whispers. "Yesterday's Stains" is one of the darker moments on the album (and that's on a release with tracks called "Ashes to Ashes", "Take My Breath" and "Lonesome Tame") with stark piano chords and reverb dreched echoes brooding slowly like a sombre funeral march. It's "Take My Breath" that stays with me the longest though, Alicia's vocal a little more central in the mix sweetly serenading around gentle guitars and a hazy dreamlike landscape.
Overall though it's an album that should be enjoyed a whole experience and not a set of individual tracks, This Kindly Slumber transports you into a heartbreakingly beautiful world as for 40 minutes you're lifted into a cocoon of minimalistic and natural wonder. If you're late on the boat, you are in for something special (Birds of Passage's entire discography is available here).