Psych-rock collective Bird Names have the prolific and avant-garde tendencies their niche demands. The Chicago-based group have released seven colorful albums since forming in 2005. Much like obvious influence R. Stevie Moore, the sheer breadth of their material can be intimidating to dig into. Luckily, their newest – Bird Names Naming Names – is a quality release that should appeal to old and new fans alike. Its second track, “Another Locked Costume For Your Dreams”, tends to be an apt representation of Bird Names’ wonderfully ambitious tendencies. Their vocal production methods are comparable to Swedish electro-pop oddballs The Knife. Vocal pitches fluctuate wildly, as nearly monotonous deliveries float elegantly over hectic arrangements. Of course, Bird Names sit in the more psych-rock niche of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, so the flow on “Another Locked Costume For Your Dreams” or the shuffle-friendly “The Questioner Appeared Today Again” is more comparable to Ariel Pink, R. Stevie Moore, and even Captain Beefheart.
Haunting ’60s-inspired pop melodies, fitted with everything from bustling brass to trippy organs, tend to float underneath the entirety of Bird Names Naming Names. It provides an accessible backbone to a bevvy of creative ideas, from the creepy steam-powered orchestral effect on “Nocturne” to the hectic “Images of Other People”, which sounds like industrialization in audible form. Bird Names Naming Names is yet another enjoyably fascinating release from Bird Names, who continue to build a cult following with efforts like this.