American singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn is a shape-shifter who can’t sit still. Since 2010 she’s worked under the moniker The Mynabirds, releasing three critically acclaimed and stylistically different albums on Saddle Creek: What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood (2010) and GENERALS (2012), both produced by Richard Swift, and Lovers Know (2015). She has also toured as a member of the Postal Service (2013) and Bright Eyes (2011), helped found Omaha Girls Rock (a non-profit helping young girls find their voices), and in 2013 gave a TED talk based on her “New Revolutionists” portrait project, exploring what it means to be a revolutionary woman in this day and age. Before the Mynabirds, Laura was a member of DC indie band Georgie James with Q And Not U’s John Davis, and also put out two self-produced solo albums on the label she founded herself, Laboratory Records.
The Mynabirds’ new album, BE HERE NOW, is a collection of 9 songs written and recorded in just 2 weeks in January 2017 following the Inauguration and the Women’s March. Singer Laura Burhenn worked with producer Patrick Damphier in his Nashville studio (which he was being evicted from to make way for luxury condos) to document the news and peoples’ intense emotional responses to it all in real time. No stranger to politics in her songwriting, Laura aimed to speak from the voice of the collective consciousness in a work of “Emotional Journalism,” singing the heartbreak, anger, exhaustion and resolute hope she witnessed during the Muslim travel ban, the final stand at Standing Rock, and every other news story that rattled America in that period. The album vacillates in style and feel to reflect a frayed nation, featuring a Burundian refugee choir on one song, and a cacophony of dissonant saxophones in a new national anthem on another. It is the last recording made in that space.
BE HERE NOW is being released very quickly as 3 digital EPs over 3 months to emphasize the immediacy of the songs. It will culminate in an official full album release on Saddle Creek in the summer of 2017.
Watch Mynabirds videos here
“Golden Age”, written by Laura Burhenn (aka The Mynabirds), speaks to the sadness and fear gripping our nation, touching on neo-nazism and white supremacy, global warming, the border wall, anti-black, anti-muslim and anti-semitic hatred, and the way politics and digital media is dividing families and friends. Most importantly the song is about hanging on to hope, inviting all of us to stand up and fight for everything the statue of liberty represents: Freedom, justice and equality for all.
More videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef70ze8B2Pc
Check out Lenore.
The coming together of Rebecca Marie Miller & Joy Pearson as Portland, Oregon folk outfit, Lenore., is serendipitous, to say the least.
After individually hitting rock bottom — Pearson following a divorce and Miller after a period of destitution in LA —
the pair separately turned to songwriting in the search for a still point in their turning worlds.
After years of lending their abilities to other projects, including Saddle Creek’s The Mynabirds & Portland’s own High Water Jazz Band,
they finally found themselves spinning on the same axis when a chance meeting through a mutual friend, Pokey LaFarge, sparked
an immediate connection. A drunken night ensued & before they’d even scoped each other’s material, they had committed.
Now, two years since that fateful evening & Lenore. can boast having performed at legendary PNW venues including Mississippi Studios, Aladdin Theater & Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, as well as the Sunset Tavern, Triple Door & Tractor Tavern in Seattle.
They’ve opened for Eric Bachmann, Laura Gibson, Esme Patterson, Blitzen Trapper & ex-collaborators The Mynabirds & have
shared the stage with Peter Buck (R.E.M.), as well as Chris Funk & Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists).
Since forming Lenore., Miller & Pearson have gained full-time collaborators in seasoned Portland musicians
Edward Cameron (classical guitar) & Jessie Dettwiler (cello), who have contributed significantly to the evolution of
Lenore.’s sound — a dreamy melancholic blend of harmony-driven folk with an ever present sense of hope.
More recently, Lenore. began playing with a rhythm section that features a rotating cast of bassists & drummers.
Lenore. released their debut self-titled album produced by John Askew on 9/15/2017, and will embark on their first tour this October.
Check out Spokane’s own Mama Doll here