The Freelance Mentalists.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
  Bird And Flower's Not So Still Life
By Don Allred
Columbus combo Bird And Flower began as Eve Searls' one-woman band. "I
like the anonymity of a band name", Searls explained. "So it was a
matter of finding one that I didn't completely hate, and I was really
into the Bird and Flower style of Japanese ink painting."
As in her visual inspirations, Searls' sonic shading unifies sweet and
sharp contrasts. High, blue, clear vocal tones, plus rough-and ready
stringed instruments, combine with eerie, catchy keyboards,
seamlessly. In the studio version of "Hot Boots", lively beats just
naturally dance all over a deadbeat lover: "Now I'm all alone, don't
you feel clever/But with my hot boots, honey, I got friends forever."
Personal struggles continue, but we can always tune in "Radio Song",
where a tide of melody could get whole roomfuls of people swaying,
sincerely serenading (and advising) each other, "I wouldn't trust
you/I wouldn't trust anybody.".

Bird And Flower's visions of alone-together sociability evidently got
the speculative Americana group Black Swans' Jerry DeCicca to seek out
Searls, who had so far tucked away a few tracks on MySpace. She found
herself agreeing to open a 2007 Black Swans show, her first concert.
Soon, Searls was playing keyboards for lovelorn post-punks PolyAtomic,
while contributing mercurially compatible songs, vocals and
instrumental versatility to equally wry folk-pop tribe Super Desserts.
The big Super Desserts also made her "feel safe", said the often
uprooted former military dependent Searls.

Once again, DeCicca found Searls ready to be lured from her comfort
zone, with the co-produced, judiciously bewitching 2009 Bird And
Flower debut album, "Here We Cease Our Motion." Bird And Flower's live
vibe still startles as well. In case the target of "Hot Boots" is
having too much fun with its studio groove, BAF's Boston podcast
version springs a challengingly cross-cut strut, courtesty of Tyler
Evans' banjo and Searls' ukulele. Friday's show also includes
vocalist-accordionist Amber Jacks, multi-instrumentalist Bobby Miller,
and versatile string man Erik Kang, just back from touring with Margot
And The Nuclear So-And-Sos, appearing here on lap steel. Searls
promises "at least a couple new songs", adding that she'll be sporting
a vintage omnichord. "You can even strum the keypad like a harp. It's
pretty Tron."

 
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