Following their highly acclaimed concept EP, The Thing With Feathers, the unique Exploring Birdsong release Dancing In The Face Of Danger. Another wonderfully crafted collection of pieces of music from this gifted trio.
Release date: 24th March 2023
Label: Long Branch Records
Format: streaming / CD / vinyl
The trio of Lynsey Ward (vocals, piano), Jonny Knight (bass, synthesizers) and Matt Harrison (drums) return from appealing to our emotions on the thematic The Thing With Feathers and its disturbing tales of child cruelty to a set of songs, each with their own stories to tell.
Unhindered by the dominance of crashing guitars and complex lead solos the new Exploring Birdsong EP offers a refreshing sound with keyboards and vocals to the fore. In their opening track Pyre, Lynsey’s stunning vocals are accompanied by swirling keyboards along with some nimble bass runs and intricate percussion. The effect draws us into a whirlpool of enchanting music.
Along with some well-arranged backing vocals, the fluctuations in tempo and dynamics on display across the set show why Exploring Birdsong is amongst the most innovative, unique bands in the progressive field. The Way Down is typical of this, shifting into a more intense direction. It is no accident Lynsey is highly ranked amongst prog vocalists. Bear The Weight, shows both her power and versatility. Although the music is forceful, and energetic her voice is not hidden in the melee of glorious sounds.
“It’s by far the poppiest song on the record and was the catalyst for centering our songs around synths as well as sole piano parts,” says the band of Ever The Optimist. A song that passed the ears of master songwriter Sir Paul McCartney, with whom they collaborated personally to produce the version which graces our ears on the album. It is they say, “a complete melting pot of all the influences that make us sound like us’.” There may be a barrage of pulsating percussion from Matt Harrison on the final track No Longer We Lie along with a rich seam of synthesised rock from Jonny Knight but they never teeter out of control with unnecessary frills.
There is something new to discover with each listen of these 5 songs across the 25 minutes of the EP, which begs the question, why not more? The reluctance to be pigeonholed to one type of music or even to be likened to other bands is their greatest strength and long may it continue.
A short mention to the stunning backing vocals who support the band in creating a choral effect, one of whom can serve up a decent pint too!
Categories: EP Review