"These arms were made for lifting up," sing Sarah Anderson and Genny and Esme Patterson on "As I Am," the opening track of Paper Bird's Rooms. That statement may be true, but a rich combination of vocal harmonies, banjo picking and guitar strums does most of the heavy lifting on the album. Also at work is the band's chemistry, which stems partly from the fact that this seven-piece contains two sets of siblings.
The group's fusion of folk and baroque pop isn't entirely original, but the multipart female vocals help distinguish this album, as do the memorable melodies and lyrics. But the biggest difference between Rooms and Paper Bird's previous releases is the percussion playing, which has come to the fore.
The most enjoyable aspect of Rooms is the subtleties. Listen closely and you'll hear references to the mountain wilderness that inspires these musicians, especially in songs like "Hold It Down" and "Past the Sky."