Interviews & Select Reviews



“Bow, the latest luminous and ambitious collection of poet-grade and quietly experimental folk music written by Steve Koester and performed by his loose assemblage of Catskill cronies.” - HV1

“…poised, structured, self-aware, ambitious.” - DVEIGHT

"...there certainly is a magic to it, a kind of backwoods witchery that the only the best of the style can really capture.  Steve Koester, creative force behind Two Dark Birds and formerly of Maplewood and Punchdrunk, is one such luminary.  His forthcoming album Bow (the third from Two Dark Birds) displays that spiritual connection to the land in a way his previous works have only touched on."   - Culture Collide

“Bow is brimming with pastoral energy and light. There's a quiet dignity to the songs, no grand or elaborate veneering.” - Chronogram 

“Strange and beautiful… It’s a record heard best with a beer in hand beneath a star-punched sky.“  Nylon

“…a masterful soundtrack to self-reflection.“  Men’s Vogue

“…one of this year’s most subdued and moving releases.“  The Big Takeover

“In Koester’s songs and in his delivery, you will hear the imprint of the broken-but-not-beaten American Bard, from Parsons and Van Zandt to Tweedy. Koester takes on the populist challenge of the form: how to be at once folk-accessible and lit-deep, how to wed image to experience and emotion without ever getting too fine or too poetic for the idiom. Koester hits the mark again and again, especially when exploring darker themes and archetypal narratives in songs like ‘Lake Algonquin,’ ‘Ryder Hollow’ and the inspired hill-folk haiku of the title track. It’s also an album of subtle and spiritually inflected love-and-loss songs, such as the standout track ‘Song for Clementine.’ Woodstock Times

Steve Koester is a folk singer whose darknesses and frailty are worn on his sleeve, the kind of sorcery you get from living a life in old mountains like the Catskills. He’s got a beautiful album out called Songs for the New.”  yvynyl

"A really beautiful listen, filled with traditional folk elements spun in an entirely novel manner.” Austin Town Hall

“Like a breath of fresh mountain air.”  My Old Kentucky Blog

“A sweet, outdoor soundtrack that holds strong.” CMJ

“… music with a sense of connection to that same spirit many have found here from the Hudson Valley painters to John Burroughs.” Catstkill Mountain News

“Songs for the New, the sophomore release from Hudson Valley-based chamber-pop-folk-rock quintet Two Dark Birds, achieves the remarkable feat of rendering domesticity, maturity, and country life every bit as compelling as, say, abandonment, wanton drunkenness, and stealing. The not-so-secret weapon is front man Steve Koester, gifted with the ability to convey shadowy subtext, whether he’s offering tantalizing rearview glances at a reckless past, a paean to the disarming beauty of the Catskill Mountains, or an ode to his daughter. It helps that he can turn out rare wordsmithery like “It was a knockdown, drag-out good time / At the Lake they call Algonquin / And the smoke moved off the mountains / Like the trees were breathing” (from “Lake Algonquin”)”  Chronogram

"Great rock is timeless, whether we discover it today or 50 years from now… Songs For The New is great rock.” Dirty Impound