Mimicking Birds Fly Back to the Nest

The melancholic local band returns home after touring with Modest Mouse and releasing its sophomore album to play Mississippi Studios on Friday.

By Schuyler Keenan August 14, 2014

The story of Mimicking Birds, as described in their bio, is "somewhat of a rock fairy tale."

Mimicking Birds is based around the songwriting of Nate Lacey, a native of Portland's rural suburbs. His songs are marked by melancholic acoustic riffs, fingerpicked behind his soft voice that sings about fascination with the natural world. A friend heard early home recordings of Lacey's and sent them to Portlander and Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock, a mutual influence of theirs. Like the fairy godmother of music, Brock swooped in and signed Mimicking Birds to his label, Glacial Pace. Within the year, Mimicking Birds opened for Fleet Foxes at MFNW 2008.

Their debut, self-titled album, released in 2009, was recorded in Brock's home. That year, Mimicking Birds went on their first national tour as Modest Mouse's opening act.

Mimicking Birds
Mississippi Studios
Aug 15

This year, Mimicking Birds released their second album, Eons. The album keeps Lacey's acoustic plucking and lyrical prowess at the forefront of the songs, but uses tinges of electronica and a smattering of new instruments to add depth and complexity to the sounds (thanks in part to producer Jeremy Sherrer).

Mimicking Birds fly back to the nest this week, after touring North America with Modest Mouse (again). Due to technological barriers, their live sets largely resemble the stripped-down sound of their first album: electric guitar, keys, bass, and soft drumming behind Lacey. There are moments of electronica and lead instrumentation that shine through, but the core appeal of Mimicking Birds will always be Lacey's songwriting—as wide-eyed and jaw-dropping as a title like Eons suggests.

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