Swiss indie-folk band NEO & NEO inspire beyond measure with their first album “Before The Birds Start To Sing.” Upon my move to Switzerland, I thought it'd be difficult to seek and discover Swiss musicians, but as it turns out, it's been a zephyr.
There is more to the Swiss music scene than yodeling and the Alphorn. You just have to dig deeper. Or other times, the musicians get in touch with you - which is the case here. I always appreciate when the artists turn to the fans. There is another Swiss band I put in the spotlight, Neo & Neo saw this on Facebook, and the rest is history. When you can easily connect with artists you listen to in this day and age and share the love of music together, it is an immensely humanizing experience. Well rooted and musically entwined. These are the layers in the music world today.
Without further ado, my latest review begins.
Before the Birds Start to Sing is more than a music album. It's an opportunity to feel authentic emotions and create new perspectives. Listen carefully to the lyrics; they're simple but enlightening in a universal way. When it comes to real folk music, it's about the stories. You want to burrow yourself inside every note, become the song and prevail. Neo & Neo reveal a powerful energy in their music which makes this album all the more memorable. Every song is created to be something tangible. You can tell Neo & Neo are not in a hurry and take each moment slowly to create a quality experience. You can also hear experimental sounds throughout the entire album. They maintain this sense of poetic light in a slightly dark room. You know, the sliver of a curtain slightly open while sunbeams sneak through and highlight particular parts of the table, an armrest or a vase. It's like every song blooms into a natural light at the end of an exhausted tunnel.
Below, you will find my commentary about each song from "Before The Birds Start To Sing." I've listened to each track three to five times. (Or more, I lost count.) When I admire an album, I like to take my time. Not only for me but you, too. If you'd like to listen to bits of each song while you read, click here. Now, let's begin, shall we?
Wild At Heart... contemplative yet carefree at once. It encourages you as if you're on your way but not quite there yet. High spirits hang high or low at any given moment. Where to begin, where to start?
I'll Never Learn... is an intense and serious love song. It starts slowly as a low tide and turns into a chaos of choppy waves. It's entirely crazy yet normal. Just as true love.
I Lost My Heart In San Antonia... makes you want to move to the dancefloor with its hypnotic chorus. It's a going for it and see what happens kind of tune. Meeting someone new and all the mish mash of feelings from San Antonia brought back home. To not know what might have been but always kept in wonderment.
Boxes From Holland... is slow and beautiful. Lovers you hold onto even when they're no longer yours. Lifelong memories in a frame of lyrics wait for the other side if ever to return.
Come Close To Me... has this lovely repetitive tone throughout the entirety of the song. A cinematic soul waits for a certain someone to take hold.
High Spirits... brings me to tears. I've been there, no, I am there quite often. It's that fight between the highs and lows of life. This song is my favorite track on the album.
My Only Truth... those rumbles of drumbeats are sure to get your adrenaline aflow and accelerate your heartstrings. A rhythmic energy of a song to stimulate the body and mind.
A Big Black Box of Questions... puts your body in a trance to get up, dance, tap your feet and clap your hands. If you want to feel good to the bones, listen to this one! Such a fine and lively tune.
Hotel Room... coffee blues and set my mind on fire. A classic folk my soul kind of song with a booze in hand. Along for the journey even if to say goodbye.
California Sun... a dependable song to walk out into the fray. Beckon and comfort. You feel the heat on your face with an ongoing sense of possibilities buried with each sunrise and sunset.
Broken Glass... raw with dusty sonic trails. Such a rustic, all-ages sort of sound. No fluff, no gloss. A real singer-songwriter guitar gusto.
Are you still here? Great. Wow, what a beautiful musical trip. Neo & Neo play music in a way that invites you along for the ride with them. They uplift and keep you curious. This band is the kind you don't realize you've sought but needed. That is why I am here, and you are reading this, to show you what you didn't find. A goddam beautiful album. Wunderschön!