Birthmark – ‘Antibodies’

Review by Steve Marck

Birthmark is by no means a misnomer; multi-instrumentalist Nate Kinsella’s mottling of musical abilities are subtly longstanding, and his execution is as unique as it is uncommon. Birthmark is an anomaly, and somewhat unsettling, but it’s made that much more extraordinary as a result. There is no haste or uncertainty present in Antibodies, and Kinsella’s confidently underplayed voice works unflinchingly well as a harsh whisper or well-sustained pitch. Lyrically he’s equally undaunted by expression—his songs are stitched with deep-seeded emotions. The positive and negative are conveyed equally and thoughtfully regardless of their volume— and thanks to well-punctuated percussion, coupled with cascading guitar patterns, even the most impassioned statements seem soluble. From the jump of the gentle-stringed surges in Pacifist Manifesto, directly into the menacing backdrop of a tight-fisted drumbeat in Please Go Away, it’s apparent that Birthmark is an admirable outlet of equitable composure. Kinsella’s grasp of his own being shows he’s perfectly comfortable weaving complexities into the most uncomplicated melodies. Antibodies is a declaration of humble confidence, and a damn fine show of instrumental poise that passes through hardships with the kind of humanity that comes from the conception of good ideas.