Saddle Creek | The Mynabirds | Reviews


What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood

04/20/2010 | | | Album Review
Mynabird's Laura Burhenn is channeling some brassy retro folk rock vibes on her new album What We Lose In The Fire, We Gain In The Flood. Recorded in the boonies of Oregon the record reflects influence from such greats as James Brown, Dandy Livingstone and Buffy Saint-Marie and an ample dose of whiskey all of which were present during the recording precess. The loose percussions, subtle backing female vocals and occasional horn section all contribute to the nostalgic aura. Burhenn's voice takes on a demure seductive quality on the slow trotting "Ways Of Looking," with only a simple guitar and tambourine accompanying gives just enough to draw you in. Then on tracks like "Wash It Out" and "Let The Record Show" she gets a little sassier and assertive but never fully drops her chanteuse ways. The strongest pieces are the ones that the ache of old Dusty Springfield tracks and the soul of gospel are allowed to permeate the lush arrangements. "Good Heart" is a prime example, slow and plaintive it brings the LP to a hazy close.

The list of collaborators on the album's liner notes is an impressive one; Orenda Fink (Azure Ray, O+S) and AJ Mogis (Criteria, Monsters of Folk, Tilly and the Wall) lent vocals; Tom Hnatow (These United States) provided some of his steel guitar magic and Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes) contributed some horn arranging. With all this talent in the wings it is easy to see how Mynabirds was able to create such a deliciously evocative album. I have a feeling this one we see a reprise on my year end list. The album hits stores next Tuesday be sure to pick up a copy.


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