Has it been a year? David Lamb, one half of genre-defying music duo Brown Bird, passed away last April at the age of 36. He had been touring with band-mate and wife MorganEve Swain when he was sidelined by a leukemia diagnosis. A year later he was strong enough to begin recording demos with Swain; things looked good, they planned a new album and a return to the road. Sadly Dave took a sudden turn and died on April 5, 2014.
Now comes their final album “Axis Mundi” out Tuesday. These songs were written in the months leading up to Dave’s diagnosis, the months following his bone marrow transplant, and while confined at home. He spent hours in their home studio, meticulously recording and re-recording his parts — full drums, guitar, vocals, and percussion ideas. Said MorganEve in a statement,
This album is different from our others in that it is, in many ways, the album we always wanted to make. It is fuller, louder and more rock-inspired than our previous efforts, while still holding tight to the Middle-Eastern and Eastern European influences we’d become known for. . .
Musically, it spans our evolution from solo project to psych-rock, Balkan, Romani, blues inspired duo. Lyrically it alludes to our joy and our pain.
The Boston Globe calls it “a lean collection of muscular songs that amplify the spirit and eclecticism of Brown Bird’s earlier work.” (My favorite track is ‘Smoke Rising.’)
Andy Smith has written a great profile at the ProJo.
(The cover art is the handiwork of Rhode Island artist William Schaff.)