Freak folk hasn't been freaky since Joanna Newsom put down her harp and started hanging out with MGMT. Even the godfather of the gloaming, Devendra Banhart, has been remixing Oasis and dabbling in tropicalia. But to the young suburban woodsmen and woman of the Bowerbirds, folk and pop have never been enemies. Since 2006 they've been trilling out lo-fi, acoustic ambience that would be unremarkable save their command of texture, tone and beats, even when the latter is but boots on a hardwood floor. For this year's The Clearing the band opens up to plushness — horns, strings and pianos — without negating its folk purpose: an eeriness that's rarely studied and often tuneful.
Don't Miss: Opening act Strand of Oaks can sound just as quietly fetching as the headliner, but, led by Timothy Showalter, may possess even more compelling material.