by Amanda DK
This album is what I would call a “mood” album: I’m not always feeling it, but when the moment strikes it’s so so sweet. Floating on an inner tube down a river on a summer day kind of sweet. On their fourth album, Panorama, Birds & Batteries manages to deliver a cohesive album despite an unexpected mix of styles and genres.
Bound together by frontman (and creator) Mike Sempert’s soulful voice, the band combines retro-influenced melodies with bluesy guitar riffs and offbeat electro-pop for a totally unique sound. It’s quirky and nostalgic, rockin’ and swaying. Perhaps its the bi-coastal influence – Sempert started the band in Boston before relocating to the Bay Area, where Birds & Batteries now calls home.
My favorite track on Panorama, “We’re An Industry” is probably the most accessible track on the album (I’m a sucker for a chorus that will stick in your head long after the song ends). It ebbs and flows in a lazy, satisfying way. The way the violin and acoustic guitar dance together, punctuated by sparse percussion is simply lovely. It’s hard not to want to sway back and forth, or grab a cowbell and join in.
Grab Panorama, which came out last October on Velvet Blue Records, here.