October 21, 2020

Anton Barbeau: Manbird

To call psychedelic power pop singer and multi-instrumentalist Anton Barbeau prolific would be an understatement. He made dozens of albums over the years, got rave reviews for most of them, but he is still an underground artist. His latest is called Manbird, a sprawling 2CD concept album about finding out what "home" means. He looks back to his days in Sacramento, the city in California where he was born, his stays in Spain and the UK, and the farm in Germany that is his current place of residence.

Manbird could be labeled as a summation of his life by ways of ornithological wordplay and imagery. As he gets older he realizes that he never really left Sacramento. he is the "bird" who refuses to leave the nest, fully aware that he will have to in the end. The many "beak" referencing songs serve as linking pieces. A sense of melancholy comes to the fore in Nest of Feathers and the hurt is almost palpable in Oh Dainty Beak, a song he wrote after his friend Janet had passed away. Cowboy John Meets Greensleeves is about a stuffed animal that played that English folk song, coupled with "Cowboy John" his first ever attempt at songwriting as a kid. His love for punk as teenager gets an outing in Featherweight.

Flying back and forth between the States and Germany makes "home" not so much place as well as a state of mind. Playing all over Europe is discussed in Auslanderbeak - sometimes he fitted in perfectly, but for most of the time he remained a puzzled outsider. And that what he still is, basically. Barbeau's knack for churning out high quality melodic and adventurous music by the buckload always keeps him going and he is probably already halfway done writing and recording the next album right now.

Manbird is released via Gare du Nord (UK) and Beehive (US).

  1. Manbird
  2. Across The Drama Pond
  3. Memory Tone
  4. Fear Of Flying
  5. Savage Beak
  6. Chicken
  7. Featherweight
  8. Cowboy John Meets Greensleeves
  9. Beak
  10. Nest Of Feathers
  11. Oh Dainty Beak
  12. And So Flies The Crow
  1. Coming Home
  2. Don't Knock The Mockingbird
  3. Flying On The Ground Is Alright
  4. My Other Life
  5. Underneath The Mushroom Tree
  6. Auslanderbeak
  7. Dreamscape 4
  8. Even The Swans Are Dirty
  9. Beak Part 2
  10. Birds Of North America
  11. Back To The Egg
  12. Manbird (Oxford Variation)
  13. Space Force

» antonbarbeau.com

HCTF review of Anton Barbeau Présente: Kenny vs Thrust.

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