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'The Clearing' of the air

Phil Moore and Beth Tacular wrote and recorded most of their third album "The Clearing" in a cabin.

If the rustic Americana tinge of Bowerbirds' sound suggests music that could have been devised in a dilapidated cabin the woods, that's not just the folksy affectation of some urban hipster. Phil Moore and Beth Tacular wrote and recorded most of their third album "The Clearing" in a cabin they're building in the North Carolina woods.

"It's really just our little spot in the world," Moore says. "It's the thing that we do when we come home from tours -- or the thing that we don't do when we come home from tours, depending on how much energy we have."

For Moore, the cabin is an opportunity to reconnect with his rural youth in Iowa. "I grew up with farmhouses every two or three miles and seeing the horizon for miles," he recalls. "All my homes were on the edge of town and I would play out in the cornfields. I think that isolation and seclusion was the inspiration for moving out into the country."

"The Clearing" retains the raw, rootsy sound of the duo's previous releases, but tempers it with a more lush, expansive palette. It's a growth born of personal hardship, most importantly Moore and Tacular's breakup and reunion, not just as a band but as a couple.

"I hear us getting back together on the record," Moore says of the new songs. "I hear our ability to get through that hard time and come back and have this solid relationship again. I hear more of our collaboration on this album than on previous albums, and I think that's us getting along again coming through."