It's been four years since we've heard from Fort Worth native Andrew Kenny, former front man of American Analog Set. But Magnolia, the debut LP from his new band Wooden Birds, has proven to be worth the wait. Tambourines rustle like leaves or like Kenny's hushed, raspy voice, which takes on an ethereal quality when he harmonizes with Duncanville native Leslie Sisson. With the syncopated guitar-top percussion permeating the album, Magnolia evokes a warm, earthy mood as appealing and pervasive as the scent of its namesake flower. Even at low volume, Kenny's melodies hang thick in the air, and his words seem weighted with metaphysical truth even when he's not singing about something serious. While critics will decry Kenny's decision to recycle "Hometown Fantasy" from a split EP he once released with Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard, it seems fair that Kenny — burned by bad record-label decisions while American Analog Set was active — wants to give the song (and himself) another chance.
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