Music Reviews
John Moreland

John Moreland

Birds In The Ceiling

Bad Omens/Thirty Tigers

John Moreland has been a bastion of singer-songwriters for the past 15 years as a musician. He’s broken new ground with each album, baring his soul, and creating a fascinating collection of songs along the way. His newest release, Birds In The Ceiling, continues that tradition, while pushing into bold new sounds and expanding the limits of his creativity.

Moreland says of the album” I don’t ever want to sound like I have answers because I don’t… Everything I write is just trying to figure stuff out”. The album’s opening track “Ugly Faces”, feels like the embodiment of that statement and is a man talking to himself and replying with more questions than answers. It also sets the precedent of an album laced with electronic drum tracks and musical accents that push the boundaries past the incredible work he did on the 2020 album LP5.

Songs like “Dim Little Light” and “Claim Your Prize” are a couple of my favorites, both lyrically and musically, as they are great examples of what drew me to Moreland’s music in the first place. It truly is a bold collection of songs and while some may be taken back by the direction the sound takes, I feel it works if you just listen to the music. Closing with “Birds in the Ceiling”, Moreland drives home why he’s so respected in his craft and his final lyrics are “Death alone is certain, but life is a beautiful question”.

Moreland wrote all the songs on the album and besides his vocals and guitar playing, the album features his long-time second guitar player/piano/various other instruments, John Calvin Abney, Matt Pence on drums, and Bonnie Whitmore on bass and cello. Matt Pence, alongside Charley Wiles, engineered the album, which was recorded at Echo Labs in Denton, Tx. Available on all streaming platforms and in various formats through his website, Birds In The Ceiling is an absolute must listen to album.

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