The Wooden Birds: “Criminals Win”
Andrew Kenny hit the Austin music scene running in 1995, fronting underground indie darlings The American Analog Set. The quartet released six studio albums over the course of a decade and was known for its dreamy, percussive sound augmented by Kenny’s hushed vocals. Abruptly, AmAnSet decided to stop putting out records in 2005, and Kenny offered his guitar services to bands like Broken Social Scene and Ola Podrida.
In 2008, Kenny moved back to Austin permanently and began writing tunes for another project, The Wooden Birds. The Birds‘ 2008 debut, Magnolia, seemed to pick up where The American Analog Set left off: the muffled vocals and driving beat persisted, but there’s also a tinge of country on Magnolia that most indie-pop fans likely weren’t expecting.
The band released its sophomore effort, Two Matchsticks, last month. And, unlike the Wooden Birds’ debut album (which was written entirely by Kenny before he even assembled a band), this record feels like more of a collaborative effort. Leslie Sisson and Matt Pond not only contribute backing vocals on this album, the two also sing lead and duet with Kenny on a couple of the album’s songs.
“Criminals Win” is a quick little pop number that appears on the new record. This version was recorded just last week when the band dropped by KUT just before wrapping up the first leg of a U.S. tour.