Minnesota-based folk/Americana-Newgrass duo Maygen & The Birdwatcher release their brand-new album, Moonshine.
Talking about the album, the duo shares, Moonshine, “is the goulash that is created by our two diverse palettes and approaches. The title for the album came from the idea of ‘the hour between dog and wolf,’ where the sun is setting, and a silhouette of the animal looks like it could go either way. It could be a sweet, loyal family friend or it could be a wild beast. There are always both within us. We feel the deepest connection to songwriting when we’re surrounded by nature.”
Made up of Maygen Lacey, a CMA nominated singer-songwriter, and Noah Neumann, the two artists are vastly different, however, they agree on sarcasm, the great outdoors, good beer, and having fun. Their 2018 debut EP, The People We Don’t Choose, mirrors their diverse musical influences, including Bradi Carlile, Florence + The Machine, and Balmorhea.
During the pandemic, the duo added to their line-up, including Ethan and Jesse Moravec on upright bass, mandolin, fiddle, and backing harmonies, along with Nik Pellinen on banjo and lead guitar.
Encompassing eight tracks, entry points on Moonshine include “Change Is,” opening on hushed, humming Cappella vocals topped by Maygen’s gorgeously evocative voice, nuanced with warm timbres.
“Jigsaw” blends Americana and luscious Newgrass flavors into a smooth, gleaming sonic potion. Maygen’s tantalizing voice gives the lyrics buoyant, vibrant tones atop a finessed rhythm capped by brilliant instrumental textures.
Low-slung and glittering, “Antidote” delivers plush layers of gentle coloration, including the plush patina of the mandolin, forming a cashmere, polychromatic melody crowned by Maygen’s heartfelt vocals – at once sumptuous and creamy. While “Your Side” starts low and graceful, and slowly builds in resonance and beauty, adding radiant harmonies and a gentle, driving beat.
The final track, “Anytime,” travels on swampy, bluesy savors as Noah’s rasping voice pushes gravelly tones, followed by lustrous harmonies.
Maygen & The Birdwatcher have it going on, offering alluring vocals, tight rhythms, and fulgent streams of marvelous Americana.