Side projects by members of great bands tend to go one of two ways. Either they’re just as great as the actual band, like Wilco-offshoot Loose Fur, or bland and forgettable, like Mick Jagger’s entire solo output. Guitarist for country-rockers My Morning Jacket Carl Broemel’s debut solo record, All Birds Say, falls into the former category.
When performing with My Morning Jacket, Broemel can often be found flailing around the stage during up-tempo barn-burners, or adding texture to one of the band’s hazy ballads. For Broemel’s solo record, however, he trades in his electric guitar for an acoustic set of lilting country-folk numbers perfect for the segue into fall.
With a warm voice similar to My Morning Jacket lead-man Jim James, Broemel effortlessly works his way through breezy, relatively simple songs that, generally put, fall into the folk-rock genre.
The instrumental title track, “All Birds Say,” proves an apt starting point for the record. A sunny, classical, guitar melody eases up to a piano-bass-drums combo that gently fades into second track “Life Leftover,” a laid-back folk song about not taking for granted the short time we are given on earth.