Bluebyrd explore ‘obsession with music’ in third acoustic folk album Song and Dance

Midlands-based folk duo Bluebyrd, like many artists, spent the pandemic putting pen to paper and in doing so, curated their third album Song and Dance, released on May 29. 

“It’s not a lockdown album, far from it,” explains Chris Rowley and Gareth Pask, “but a few of the songs are born out of some of those feelings that we went through at that time.”

With a collection of twelve soul-stirring acoustic songs, Bluebyrd invites listeners on a musical reflection on the tumultuous times we’ve all endured.

The album kicks off with the eponymous track, ‘Song and Dance’, which is fuelled by a plea to live life to the fullest. The opening guitar is reminiscent of Greenday’s Time of your Life, with emotional but optimistic lyrics that can only truly be understood by those who have experienced tragedy of some sort. “Lifes too short to stare at the horizon waiting for your ship to come in,” – the harmonica adding a distinctive touch to the spirited composition as we begin this hopeful adventure.

Bluebyrd’s ability to infuse spiritual elements into their music shines through in Crystals, this acoustic-driven gem encapsulating the need to cling on to something meaningful in times of anxiety.

The dark harmonies and disconcerting instrumentation in Siren Song create an atmospheric depth and is probably one of my favourite on the record as a result, the keys haunting behind menacing lyrics.  Chris and Gareth said: “Our obsession with music is played out in two of the tracks. Siren Song and Sing Me the Song explore music’s intoxicating and healing nature and how it can capture the soul and can take us to a place of no return.”

The sound of gentle waves transports listeners to a sunnier pastures in Sing Me The Song, with some really gorgeous female backing vocals that add texture to this slow but multi-layered track. Meanwhile, the search for certainty in an uncertain world is beautifully captured in the haunting melodies of Where Does the River Flow?, with Italian influences that conjures imagery of accordion-playing buskers and tarot readers down sundried stone side streets, with introspective lyrics that urge you to live life to the fullest.

It’s no surprise that the dream of escape to sunnier and more uplifting places is present in a couple of the songs,” said Blubyrd. “There’s an invite to a simple splash around in Rock Pool or to head to Somerset’s mysterious stone monoliths of Stanton Drew. A place to perhaps find solace, contentment and be still.”

These songs beckon us to find solace, contentment, and stillness in far-off places, from the intricate fingerpicked technique in Rock Pool showcasing the duo’s musical prowess, to the mystique feel of Stanton Drew, drawing inspiration from the likes of U2.

Love is also ever-present, whether it’s a heart-felt tribute to enduring love in I Ain’t Got a Ticket to Ride or a playful look at obsessive love in the Buddy Hollyesque Babe, It’s Me and You. 

Bluebyrd’s influences are evident throughout the album, with nods to 60s folk reminiscent of Donovan and All About Eve. There’s a hint of James Blunt’s storytelling sensibility, fused with an Irish lilt that adds an enchanting quality to their sound.

Their music is deeply rooted in the power of melody and lyrics, Chris Rowley’s soulful vocals intertwine seamlessly with Gareth Pask’s skillful keyboard arrangements, creating a harmonious and captivating sonic experience.

The Bridge brings a sombre tone to the album, illustrating a man’s darkest day as he stands on the edge. The story is one that commands attention and has you hanging on every line to hear the ending. The duo describe it as: “A real life story with a heartfelt wish from us and that he soon finds himself in a safe and more positive place.”

Too Much Noise pleads for attention in an oversaturated online world, urging the listener to take notice and have their voices heard, while Lost serves as a poignant reflection on those who blindly follow, using scapegoats to justify abhorrent words and actions.

This collection of songs is a testament to Bluebyrd’s ability to weave intricate stories and emotions into their music. From the haunting harmonica to the enchanting waves of sound, Bluebyrd has crafted a rich and engaging album that will captivate folk music enthusiasts and new audiences alike.

With their heartfelt melodies and profound lyrics, Song and Dance is an invitation to reflect, find solace, and embrace life’s complexities.

You can listen to the full Song and Dance album by Bluebyrd here:

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