Dont be put off by the hippie-sounding name: Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums arent into good vibes or pastoral folk. Rather, spouses Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin pick apart pop music with the no-holds-barred inventiveness of an ace jazz band. In fact, they won the Jazz in Sweden award in 2008 and have performed at the Berlin Jazz Festival. Debuting in 2007 with Heartcore, they returned last year with the acclaimed but otherwise slept-on The Snake. Thats quite a shame, considering its bizarre, swaggering beauty. Wallentins voice slides from growls to moans to childlike chirps as Werliin employs hypnotically scattershot percussion; both turn to offbeat instruments like zither, thumb piano, and autoharp. On the marathon album closer My Heart, which received a shortened remix from former tourmates Deerhoof, simple marimba and steel drum melodies are coaxed out over a deconstructed thump. In concert, Wildbirds & Peacedrums are even less predictable, with Wallentin burning like a scorned soul singer one minute and stalking the stage like a seasoned predator the next.
Wildbirds & Peacedrums open for St. Vincent.
Mon., Feb. 8, 8 p.m., 2010