Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The surprising delights of 'Manbird,' revealed!

Photo by Julia Boorinakis Harper
The photo above, and the album cover below, were my first introduction to Anton Barbeau's new Manbird double album. And yes, the art appears as if it was pulled together for an Angelfire website circa 1998. Luckily for me I ignore art and bios until I actually listen tenth music, so while I went in with low expectations, I still dove into the music headfirst and without preliminary judgement.

Talk about not judging a book by its cover!

Manbird is a densely stuffed album of psychedelic pop that has drawn comparisons to Julian Cope, only I don't think I've ever heard anything this consistently enjoyable from Cope.* And while Barbeau clearly wants to align himself with the more lysergic end of music genres, there's a steady supply of power pop humming along under the hood of Manbird's songs. Imagine if The Cars got even weirder, lost in their internal wanderings, then hit the speedway to a land covered in cartoonishly pink clouds and magical beasties all around.

It's an escape. And honestly? Who couldn't use an escape right now? We can't go out so you may as well get lost in your own head with Manbird as a temporary guide.

*I do love Peggy Suicide, and it's my fave piece of Cope's music, but even then Cope has a hard time keeping up the quality and maintaining the focus. 

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