The Stray Birds "Let It Pass"
Friday, June 15, 2018
– The Strays Birds are back with "Let It Pass" on Sept. 7 on Yep Roc Records.,
The release came after the tro was at a self-described crossroads career-wise since the release of 2016's "Magic Fire."
During the period, fiddler/guitarist/banjoist/vocalist Maya de Vitry and fiddler/guitarist/mandolinist/vocalist Oliver Craven ended their romantic relationship. Along with bassist/banjoist/vocalist Charlie Muench, they faced an uncertain future.
The band out "Nothing To Say About It Now," the first single from the forthcoming album, today. Muench calls the song a meditation. He said, "During a lot of the writing of this record we were reckoning with both past resentments and anxiety about where we were headed. The simple onenote verse melody and the airy haries create otherworldly and timeless qualities to the song while the backbeat feels like deep breaths."
The band also announced a fall tour with dates ranging from early September in Philadelphia to late November in Asheville, N.C., routing through the midwest, along the West Coast, and down into the southern U.S. with more dates to be added in the coming weeks.
"Let It Pass" is the band's fourth studio album, developed over the course of what totaled to nearly a th of dedicated writing sessions, the trio around a table and, for the first time, created an entire album from scratch. Where previously the band had been a showcase for the songwriting of de Vitry or Craven, here all three members brought fragments of melodies and sketches of verses, often generating music and lyrics together in real time.
"I wanted everybody to experience wrestling with our collective state of mind and the uncertainty that goes into writing music together," said de Vitry. "It's a delicate thing for people to create together like that, but seeing each other in our moments of frustration and in our creative breakthroughs created even more trust and possibility than we'd ever had before. It enabled us to peel everything back and make the most honest music we possibly could."
Originally hailing from Lancaster, Pa., the band first broke out in 2012 with their selftitled/selfreleased debut. They follo it up in 2014 with "Best Medicine."
Unlike with previous records, the band took the new material that would end up being known as "Let It Pass" on the road to Folk Alliance for a series of live performances, which provided a unique opportunity to step inside the songs and truly live. "Playing the new songs live was an important step for us," said de Vitry. "As soon as you're performing a song in front of an audience, it becomes all about communication, about tapping into the lyrics and the feeling. It requires another kind of vulnerability, and it was something we needed to do completely on our own terms."
Recording only took five days with the idea of loss part of the lyrical equation.
"There can be such a sense of loss at the end of any relationship, a sense that the time and energy and emotion that went into it was wasted because you have to start over," said de Vitry. "But it's all worthwhile, and it's all a part of this journey. Loss actually creates room for growth and strength."
Tour dates are:
Aug. 4-6 Canmore, Alberta Canmore Folk Festival
Aug. 17 Manchester, VT Green Mountain Bluegrass Festival
Aug. 25 Asheville, NC Jam in the Trees
Sept. 6 Philadelphia, PA PFS Listening Room (Philadelphia Folk Society)
Sept. 7 Saratoga Springs, NY Cafe Lena
Sept. 8 Elizabethtown, NY Otis Mountain Getdown
Sept. 9 treal, QC Petit Campus
Sept. 19 Louisville, KY Zanzabar
Sept. 20 Chicago, IL The Hideout
Sept. 21 Minneapolis, MN The Cedar
Sept. 22 Lincoln, NE Lincoln Calling Festival
Sept. 23 Columbia, MO Rose Music Hall
Sept. 30 Cleveland, OH The Music Box
Oct. 1 Pittsburgh, PA Club Café
Oct. 2 Washington D.C. Union Stage
Oct. 3 Charlottesville The Southern
Oct. 4 Lancaster, PA Tellus 360
Oct. 5 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
Oct. 6 Boston, MA Sonia
Oct. 10 San Luis Obispo, C SLO Brewery
Oct. 11 Los Angeles, CA The Resident
Oct. 12 San Francisco, CA Brick and Mortar
Oct. 18 Portland, OR The Old Church
Oct. 19 Spokane, WA The Bartlett
Oct. 20 Prosser, WA The Roots Cellar
Oct. 21 Seattle, WA set Tavern
Sept. 1 Wray, CO 4th and Main
Sept. 2 Denver, CO Daniels Hall
Sept. 3 Basalt, CO The Temporary
Sept. 4 Ft Collins, CO Downtown Artery
Sept. 9 Houston, TX The Greenroom at Warehouse Live
Sept. 10 Austin, TX The Mohawk
Sept. 15 Atlanta, GA Eddie's Attic
Sept. 16 Nashville, TN The Basement
Sept. 17 Asheville, NC The Grey Eagle
CD reviews for The Stray Birds
Let It Pass
This is the swan song for The Stray Birds unfortunately, but at least they are parting with another musical triumph. This record barely got made as founding members, fiddler/guitarist/banjoist/vocalist Maya de Vitry and fiddle/guitarist/mandolist/vocalist Oliver Craven fought through an ending romantic relationship while deciding to collaborate musically. That decision was enough to get "Let It Pass" done, but recently the band announced that they were calling it quits. »»»
The difference between current successful Americana road veterans like Mandolin Orange and Mipso, on the one hand, and lamented, late bands like Joy Kills Sorrow and The Deadly Gentlemen, on the other, is razor-thin. "Magic Fire" amply supports The Stray Birds' bid to be an act in for the long haul. "Magic Fire" is a sharp-tongued lyrical success with harmonies and clever arrangements in abundance from the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania band, which has spent the last few »»»
"Best Medicine," the opening song and title track to The Stray Birds' album, is a beautiful, touching ode to music and the record stores that still survive in this digital age. With a few sly musical references in the lyrics ("Doctor tells me he can hear the beetles in my bones...") and some gorgeous three-part harmonies, it's one of the best and most heartfelt songs of the year.
Even after leading off with that kind of highlight, the rest does not disappoint. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
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