Ball-Point Birds: Two Discover

By Dennis Cook

This radiant sleeper from Tim Bluhm and Greg Loiacono of The Mother Hips tiptoes into the quiet corners of our lives. Above a gently shifting sound wave, they whisper secrets and hard won wisdom in a way that makes us lean in.

Don't tell me anything
Because I'm turned on by a mystery
Though your eyes have been where they don't belong,
I would be more interested in moving on.

Built up from gorgeously picked acoustic guitars, peppered with striking electric guitar flourishes and the odd hi-hat splash or keyboard squiggle, Two Discover has the intimacy and world-weary mood of early '70s John Martyn and Joni Mitchell, though it's more curiously angled in both perspective and tweaked musical accents, closer in spirit to Skip Spence or Bert Jansch. Of recent vintage the only thing that compares is Johnny Cash's American Recordings, though this is more interesting musically.

Somewhat more elusive than earlier Ball-Point Birds efforts, the rewards for digging in here are huge. The niceties and nuances of the human experience are held up to a flickering light where the lines of age and mistakes are softened by understanding and compassion.

We get a hard deal sometimes,
That's just the way it goes.
We're born into it and
We'll die out of it sometime.
We're born and we die,
Every single day

The name Ball-Point Birds conjures up a cloud of black feathers flying from a notebook, innermost thoughts pushed into the horizon. Two Discover carries this feeling of winged freedom. The dovetailed beauty of their voices and instruments is what it sounds like when human beings lift off the ground. Sometimes it's only a few inches above the fray but by God it's still open air, and for that we must be thankful.

Two Discover is a self-released effort available only through The Mother Hips website and at shows.

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[Published on: 2/7/07]

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Raydog starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/7/2007 04:04PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

This album is beautiful. Tim and Greg have really developed into awsome song writers. I cannot await the new hips album.