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.



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.