A Hawk And A Hacksaw, The Way The Wind Blows

Todd Burns

By Todd Burns

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Former Neutral Milk Hotel drummer goes to Romania to record his third album.

A Hawk and a Hacksaw is the project of (mostly) one man: Jeremy Barnes. For his third album, this former drummer for Neutral Milk Hotel visited Romania to hook up with Fanfare Ciocarlia — one of the finest groups that the country has to offer. Barnes took those recordings home and then added, among other things, Heather Trost's superb violin playing and trumpet by Zach Condon of Beirut. The result was his most fully-formed and emotional work yet. Whether he was taking cues from Condon or the 11-strong Fanfare Ciocarlia is a matter of debate — Barnes seems to borrow equally from the Balkan and indie traditions here. But whatever your take, Barnes'leap forward can hardly be denied.