I hear the term “rustic pop” bandied about for bands like Califone, the Fruit Bats, and the various Palace projects. I don’t know what rustic pop is but I am pretty sure the Judy Green is it.
Loose harmonies, an occasional banjo and none of the samey alt-country clichés. Songs like the spooky “Nots” even touch on some of the same ground as Cat Power’s Moon Pix. These are dark, sometimes dirge-like pieces seemingly pieced together from a collective dream the band all had one night. The production leaves a close feel. While far from sloppy, the songs on Bird in the Teeth remain loose and the production adds to the feeling that you’re just listening in on the band still pulling their parts together. Neil Young practices what he calles “Audio Verte,” which is all about capturing a moment. It’s clear the Judy Green has sat in on a few of Shakey’s lectures.