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The Birdwatcher



The Birdwatcher is the intimate, avant-experimental alias of Dan Martz, a longtime member of the dormant post-rock outfit Windsor for the Derby. Matz began his birdwatching after he left his Windsor bandmates in Austin and moved to Brooklyn (this does not, by the way, mean that Windsor for the Derby has broken up; it's just become a long distance relationship). With his new project, Matz explores similar aural motifs to Windsor for the Derby, creating soft, repetitious patchworks of sound, though here they tend to be more barren and more fragmented. From time to time, though, the dynamics shift and the ambient rhythms evolve into bendy acoustic folk or churning guitar-driven power rock or loose-limbed country drift. Matz's hushed, earnest croon ties all the disparate stylistic elements together.

Martz's recorded output has the hissing, lo-fi sound of a bedroom project, which The Birdwatcher mostly is, but Martz has also recruited members of Jets to Brazil and Home to perform with him on occasion. The Birdwatcher's first album, The Darkest Hour Is Just before Dawn, came out in 2000. It's the first in a trilogy of releases reflecting on morning, afternoon, and evening.