Nominally folk yet wholly engaging, Dallas collective the Fox and the Bird has its roots in the sprawling Dallas Family Band cooperative, which has also birthed the Beaten Sea, Spooky Folk, lalagray and Jacob Metcalf.
Led by husband and wife Dan and Kelsey Bowman, whose arresting vocal harmonies are the sparkling thread uniting these 11 tracks, Floating Feather is a striking, dust-blown debut that roams freely among the neighboring pastures of American music, grazing a little in roots, nibbling a bit in country, and sampling what folk has to offer. Painstakingly recorded over a period of two years, the rustic, ethereal veneer of songs like Ghost or the slyly comic Women in the Kitchen belies the earthy, kinetic energy evident in the band’s musicianship (the benefits of cutting one’s teeth busking rather than building loops in GarageBand).
As with so many of the Fox and the Bird’s contemporaries, these works bloom most fully in concert, where the full-throated, multi-part harmonies can reach full roar and the intoxicating clatter behind them blows forth like a summer wind sweeping through the tall grain. The Fox and the Bird will celebrate the album's release Friday at Sons of Hermann Hall with support from Whiskey Folk Ramblers and the Beaten Sea. The Fox and the Bird also play Central Market tonight.