Birch Book by Birch Book (Review)

Though less psychedelic than In Gowan Ring, Birch Book finds B’eirth crafting music that is just as lovely and haunting.

The enigmatic B’eirth is best known as the frontman for the psychedelic folk outfit In Gowan Ring. However, with his Birch Book project, he has moved away from the psychedelics and instead, opted for a simpler, more straightforward folk sound. The result, however, is still some pretty haunting — and haunted — music, thanks to B’eirth’s deft guitar-work and dreamy Nick Drake-esque vocals.

One of the most recent examples of this is a limited edition Birch Book EP released earlier this month by Les Disques du 7ème Ciel. The EP consists of six songs: a gorgeous, moving version of ​“Life’s Lace” — which originally appeared on Birch Book’s A Hand Full of Days — plus five new songs sung primarily in French.

Admittedly, my French is pretty rusty, so I don’t know what B’eirth is singing about exactly — I suspect the subject matter is just as otherworldly and ​“wyrd” as his English-language material — but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a lovely sounding batch of songs. The man’s lazy-hazy vocals are just as good in French as they are in English (maybe even better). Furthermore, the music’s subdued tone — achieved primarily through gracefully picked acoustic guitars and some subtle atmospheric flourishes (e.g., ​“La Chanson De Prévert“ ​‘s shivering drones, the reverb-soaked guitar on the Morricone-esque ​“Les Feuilles Mortes”) — is perfect for grey rainy mornings… like the one I just so happened to experience when I first listened to the EP.

The EP is limited to 500 copies and comes with both a 10″ vinyl record and a CD that are both housed in handmade packaging (click here to order).