Neo & Neo “Before The Birds Start To Sing” | September 16, 2016

Before The Birds Start To Sing cover art

Neo & Neo released back in September their new album ‘Before The Birds Start To Sing’. Ambitious and surprising, this record feels like a roller coaster. With a folk sound mixed with other influences (rock/alternative) and the raspy voice of singer Dominik Robin, it is a very cohesive album. It is full of contrasts going from acoustic to more complex arrangements. So let’s dive in a little.

‘Wild At Heart’ feels like the perfect opening track. Nostalgic yet hopeful, it has a very special energy that will make you want to listen to the rest of the record, which is undeniably a good thing. There are so many highlights in Neo & Neo’s new album. ‘A Big Black Box of Questions’ is an upbeat folk song with some crazy banjo that you cannot help but love. It is catchy and hopeful. The moody ‘Boxes of Holland’, is also a very special moment. In this song, Neo & Neo’s music universe expands beyond the classic folk sound with some electronic influences that might remind you of an artist like Hayden Calnin, who also has that knack to mix up genres that do not go obviously together. It is a bold move that exemplifies one of the strengths of this album: it does not stay in one place.

Indeed, the album has many stunning stripped back songs such as ‘Broken Glass’ and ‘High Spirits’. Both songs are simple, raw and vulnerable. And they remind you of how powerful music can be with nothing more than some good riffs and a voice that rings true. However, there are also songs that feel like explosions. ‘Hotel Room’ is a pure folk rock track that you just want to play real loud. ‘My Only Truth’ is monstrously good with its hint of country and rock. It keeps rising in intensity until the very last second. ‘California Sun’ is also a highlight of the album. Its construction and arrangements are just incredible. The last minute of the song is one of my favourite moments of the record. It makes this track feel infinite.

In conclusion, it is, actually, a pure joy to listen to ‘Before The Birds Start To Sing’. It is full of u-turns and little surprises. And it is what lovers of albums want. Each song is strong and can perfectly stand on its own. However, put together, all the songs become something even more special. They complement each other and make each other shine. It is a real album. And, more importantly, a brilliant one!

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