Exploring Birdsong have been teasing us with music ever since we first saw them in Liverpool 2 years ago, and their debut EP is finally upon us and without a shadow of a doubt The Thing With Feathers is simply stunning.
“The devil came to play today” sings Lyndsey Ward at the start of The River, and the devil does indeed play with us throughout this release as the songs are loosely conceptual, based around the story of Kevin Halfpenny and one of the most bizarre cases of child cruelty ever recorded.
Lyndsey Wards voice is joyful yet soulful, melancholic when it needs to be as it dances around the piano driven rock that the band produces, Matt Harrison’s drumming is brutal yet restrained and Jonny Knight banging out bass riffs that are obscene – the bass drop at 2:47 in The Sinking Question is so guttural it is like the devil himself is pushing onto your chest.
The two short instrumental pieces simply help to highlight the beauty of the other songs on the release. The Baptism is an astonishing vehicle for both the band and Ward’s vocal talents, the goosebumps are in evidence at the climax, as is The Downpour which evokes comparisons to Floyd’s Great Gig In The Sky as well as to singers such as Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Annie Haslam.
Exploring Birdsong’s star is already shining bright as they have already been lauded by much of the music press and were nominated for two Progressive Music Awards in 2019, this utterly extrordinary release will certainly push their star higher and brighter. We are eagerly awaiting more shows and an album from them in the future.
Review by Anthony Firmin