I've never really been smitten with Woodpigeon's music. I've found it pleasant but unremarkable. Thumbtacks + Glue represents a seismic shift in my view. It combines beautiful melodies with well-crafted lyrics and just enough innovation to make it stand out from the indie folk crowd.
The Calgary-native Woodpigeon uses hushed Elliott Smith-style vocals and an incredibly addictive melody turn "As Read In the Pine Bluff Commercial" into a masterpiece of understatement. Verses are traded with a female lead on the equally stunning "Little Wings".
Orchestrals layered atop the folk foundation transform "Children Should Be Seen and Not Heard" into a grand accomplishment. It's a sweeping sound that is shared on the cinematic "Edinburgh".
A layer of darker rock provides some oomph to "Sufferin' Suckatash", making it a powerful epic statement. "Robin Song" adds a hook that makes it unforgettable without sacrificing any of the dramatic impact.
In Thumbtacks + Glue, Woodpigeon has given us a record that may turn out to be a darkhorse contender of Album of the 2013 when we start those discussions later in the year.
Best tracks: "Children Should Be Seen and Not Heard", "Sufferin' Suckatash"
Track listing for Thumbtacks + Glue:
- The Saddest Music In the World
- Red Rover, Red Rover
- As Read In the Pine Bluff Commercial
- Children Should Be Seen and Not Heard
- Little Wings
- Sufferin' Suckatash
- Robin Song
- Thumbtacks + Glue