When you listen to Wickerbird’s new song “Bugbear” from their imminent second full-length album, The Leaf Maker (out September 18), you can almost smell the fresh pine forest and hear the softly babbling brook. It was conceived after a few years of homesickness in New York City, after which he returned to his native Washington State. With elegance and majesty, Wickerbird (a.k.a. Blake Cowan) honors the spirit of the Pacific Northwest, specifically Washington’s Mount Rainier. This is where Cowan spent his time writing this new album, and the music shares in the location’s expansive quality. His musical collaborators? Crackling fires, the soft pattering of rain, rustling leaves in the forest and distant bird calls.

Cowan’s previous recordings were his 2012 debut The Crow Mother and The Westering EP in 2013.

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