Introducing: Exploring Birdsong
Crushingly heavy piano entangles with searing vocals and a gritty rhythm section to produce one of our favourite new acts, one which has as much to thank early Mastodon for as they do Kate Bush
Words: Phil Weller
Every so often a new band will come and take your breath away. Be they a heady mix of the bands you love, exciting your senses like they were tailor made for your aural G-spots, or be they an open door into new and exciting musical territories for you, sometimes a band captures your imagination and makes your heart flutter. It’s love; it’s a feeling so many of us live for. Always searching, always discovering.
Liverpool based Exploring Birdsong, who have connections to Manchester through Bolton-born drummer Matt Harrison (Kill Or Cure, Wolf Company), are an act burning with something bright and alluring. Piano-driven, you will find no heavy distorted guitars in their music, but that’s because they don’t need them, this already packs one hell of a punch without. They tangle together an intriguing array of influences to create a sound that has as much to thank early Mastodon for as it does Kate Bush. In short, debut single The Baptism is as dark as it is beautiful, propelled forward with cascading piano melodies and iced by Lynsey Ward’s gorgeous and soulful voice which is itself tied up in a ribbon of clever pop sensibilities.
It starts aggressively. Imagine Mastodon halfway between their Leviathan and Blood Mountain records but piano-led. Bright notes and motifs gently avalanche and dart about between time signatures – an oxymoron I know, but this band has made an art form out of contradictions. With subtle but ultimately adventurous bass lines snaking in the undergrowth, the song has depth too. It builds to its peak; the chorus, and it is a jewelled one. Ward’s soulfulness soars atop the mix, her enormous range and ability to pinball all over the place with her notes while never slipping out of key is something to behold. There is so much technical fire and imagination seeping out of this band. Later instrumental sections see snarling slap bass push through the mix, not conent with always hiding in the undergrowth, while Harrison is a mad octopus behind the kit, although he is never overblown. He knows when to toe the line and when and where to embellish the song with his own individualistic flare.
They launch the single at Liverpool’s Arts Club on Wednesday 18th October and promise to have a few surprises in store during their set. If progressive, forward thinking music that dares to be different is your thing, or if you have a penchant for female fronted, powerful and soulful acts like Kate Bush – there is even a hint of Paramore’s Hayley Williams to her impassioned rasp at points – then this is a band that will definitely hit your senses in all the right places.