Dave Pen and Mike Bird formed BirdPen while sharing a flat in their hometown of Southampton. Self-releasing a handful of well-received EPs, the duo went on to release their debut Album On/Off/Safety/Danger in 2009. Evolving and honing their sound, new album In The Company Of Imaginary Friends, their third, harnesses subtle melodies to evoke widescreen emotions.

Like a fine malt whisky, In The Company Of Imaginary Friends is more complex that it initially appears and is slow to reveal its true depth. You may find that the album will take a few plays before the songs really reveal themselves. There is a tightly-wound quality to the songwriting that seems to pull the music in on itself and I found that rather than try to actively analyse the album, it was better to let it soak in almost subconsciously. Once the layerings of keyboards and guitars began to bite I found myself hooked.

Good things, they say, come to those who wait. If you are prepared to wait, you’ll find out how good BirdPen can be.

John Scott

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