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All Birds Say

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Album Review

When Carl Broemel joined My Morning Jacket in 2004, the group had already shed its alt-country skin and grown into an experimental rock band. Broemel keeps things relatively twangy on his solo debut, though, bypassing MMJ’s penchant for space jams and multi-genre combos in favor of an earthy, straightforward sound. All Birds Say is often a team effort — fellow MMJ bandmate Bo Koster plays organ and vibraphone, while a handful of guests contribute everything from horns to string bass — but Broemel remains in the driver’s seat, sporting an unassuming voice that knows its limitations and an ear for textured arrangements. Rarely do any of these songs break a sweat; they’re mostly laid back, mid-tempo ruminations on everyday life, with the lyrics playing second fiddle to the Nashville-influenced sound that Broemel and his friends brew up. Whenever he piles on the pedal steel and overdubbed harmonies, Broemel sounds a bit like Ryan Adams circa Jacksonville City Nights. All Birds Say isn’t concerned with aping anyone else’s sound, though, and it wields the sort of casual confidence that’s rarely heard on a sideman’s solo project. If Carl Broemel ever decides to quit his day job, he’s got a promising future here.


Born: Indiana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although mostly known for his work with My Morning Jacket, Carl Broemel became an in-demand guitarist during the early 2000s, appearing on albums by everyone from Delta Spirit to Bobby Bare, Jr. He also launched a solo career with All Birds Say, an eclectic alt-country album released in 2010. Broemel was raised in Indianapolis and later attended Indiana University, where he studied classical guitar and played with an alt-country band named Old Pike. The group opened for Ben Folds Five in 1997 and...
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All Birds Say, Carl Broemel
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