Birds of Chicago
There’s an irreplaceable kind of satisfaction that comes with unplugging from our data-saturated and mentally scattered world for a moment, getting away from online tweeting to listen to the simple song of a bird. To hear those sounds on a still clear morning is to start the day off right. Birds of Chicago may not be literal birds (though they are literally from Chicago) but they do capture that fine feathered feeling. The band’s combination of intricacy and purity cuts through the stresses of modern life to deliver a direct hit of emotional uplift, speaking to the buried feelings of innocence and bittersweet melancholy that lurks inside all of us.
Of course, Birds of Chicago have a wider variety of musical tools than your average songbird. Their sound is lead by the soaring gospel-infused vocals of Allison Russell (of Po’Girl fame) and her co-conspirator J.T. Nero, who share a rare open-hearted quality. Together, the two have built an ardent fan following, thanks to a hard-driving tour schedule a strong collection of albums, including their most recent, the Joe Henry-produced Real Midnight. And while the duo, and their backing band's, music may be as a moving as a songbird’s, with their solid and engaging stage presence, thankfully, Birds of Chicago are nowhere near as elusive.