Music » Critics' Picks

Breathe Owl Breathe

9 p.m. Saturday, February 20. The Billiken Club, 20 North Grand Boulevard, in the Busch Student Center on the campus of Saint Louis University.

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Judging by photographs on Breathe Owl Breathe's website, members of the Michigan group have a history of performing concerts while wearing homemade capes. But please don't let this fact — or the presence of two bearded fellows, a banjo and a toy piano — trick you into thinking that the delightful acoustic troupe is anything approaching freak-folk. Instead, the trio plays pretty, shuffling songs with a folksy lilt and bucolic whimsy. Lead singer Micah Middaugh comes across like a more benevolent Bill Callahan, using his sometimes-affectless baritone to speak plainly about new love and disappearing glaciers. Andréa Moreno-Beals uses her fluttering, warbly voice to square off with Middaugh on songs such as the swaying "Playing Dead," but her earthy, resonant cello adds a quavering, stately low end to these gentle folk tunes.

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