Celebrate the final days of our bustling summer season in the village of Empire featuring Breathe Owl Breathe.
'As Breathe Owl Breathe, Michigan trio Micah Middaugh, Andréa Moreno-Beals and Trevor Hobbs sound as intimately familiar with woods and wild as their band name suggests, but there’s an air of cosmopolitan sophistication, too. Their forest-paced, guitar-and cello-grounded “Playing Dead” has the careful, modern approach to folk production of rustic post-rock ensemble Califone, and Middaugh’s weary vocal also braves Palace Brothers’ Southern haints. “I got you, didn’t I,” Middaugh repeats in harmony with Moreno-Beals, as cymbals splash across some delicate acoustic plucking. The verses reflect nostalgically on playing dead as a child by the swing set, so this chorus comes to tell everyone they’re just fooling. At the same time, the joke may be getting played on us, too: “When I was alive…” Middaugh begins one line. What, is he dead? Still, like North Carolina’s similarly verdant Bowerbirds , Breathe Owl Breathe keep their lyrics earnest and un-showy (“Your hair is gray…the light is black”) and then bask in organic splendor. They got me, didn’t they?'
— Pitchfork Forkcast review of Playing Dead