The German-American trio Standard Crow Behavior— Judith Beckedorf (vocals, mandolin, banjo), Steve Voltz (vocals, guitar), and Filip Sommer (vocals, violin, mandolin) — offers an approach that’s both unique and well-rooted in archival origins. A blend of bluegrass, folk, and a hint of pervasive pop, their music is siphoned through intricate arrangements and seamless three part harmonies, resulting in a sound which the threesome refer to as “Chamber Folk.” It’s a description that fits them well. They sing around a single microphone, but they still manage to create layers of sound that negates the need for any special effects.
That said, Standard Crow Behavior take a mellow approach, one befitting the fact that the trio mostly — thought not entirely — avoid any outside contributions save bass and pedal steel. So while there’s plenty of roots reverence, songs such as Forget To Feel, Spotswood Rice, What Have We Done, I Am Here, and High and Low lean on the Voltz, Sommer, and Beckedorf’s low-lit vocals and seamless harmonies. The arrangements, mostly made up of a simple pluck and strum, come across as supple but assured, making for a consistent and comforting caress. The sentiments are sweetly sincere, well in keeping with a traditional template. So too, the melodies emphasize homespun emotions of a gentler persuasion.
As a result, the melodies stand on their own merits, courtesy of their evocative impressions and gentle respite.
On the other hand, the band offers opportunity for revelry as well, with the upbeat and agreeable Al Capone allowing the trio to engage more upbeat intents. Gone For Good maintains a deliberate pace, but an emphatic intent. Likewise, Who We Really Are is joyful and ebullient, a a statement of self that resonates both amiably and assuredly.
The fact that this is the band’s second release to date also speaks volumes, suggesting that they’ve not only come quite a way in a relatively short time, but that they also that they possess a clear confidence that suggests they’re capable of finding success with everything they offer from this point on.
In a very real way, Talking To Space ought to speak to anyone in search of a gentle embrace. It doesn’t get much lovelier than this.