burhenn

The Mynabirds Toast the Holidays with X-Mas Single

Today the Mynabirds release a limited edition 7" on Saddle Creek that features "All I Want is Truth (for Christmas)", an original (anti-) Christmas song, and a cover of the Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" on the B-side. The first 200 copies from Saddle Creek's online store will be offered on white vinyl. A black vinyl version of the 7" is available at retail outlets, and all records include a free digital download. The songs are also available at all digital outlets. If you haven’t checked it out at Brightest Young Things, a free mp3 of "All I Want is Truth (for Christmas)" is available now via Saddle Creek by clicking HERE.

With charming chords descending the wurltizer keys like falling snow, the Mynabirds' "All I Want" starts out like a typical Christmas song. But by the second line, it's clear that this is singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn's cry for anything but another ordinary holiday. "All I Want" navigates global warming, messy politics, endless wars, and American consumerism, and brushes it all away to remind us of the snow-white core of the holidays: love. "Have yourself a happy little New Year," Burhenn sings, "'Cause the politicians will be at their same old arguments: Should we start another war or should we raise another tax?" Burhenn declares that she's opting out of society's endless back and forth to "sit down with [her] love and…remember what it means to celebrate without a single store-bought thing." Like a mug of hot cocoa served with a dash of John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth", "All I Want" goes down like an old standard in a whole new era.

"This Will Be Our Year" is the perfect song to close out a year of haunts and minor catastrophes to look to something new. The slide of J. Tom Hnatow's pedal steel colors the Mynabirds' version of this Zombies' classic as a sweet, country-tinged take on the original. Both "All I Want" and "Our Year" were recorded to tape in a single day at Inner Ear in Arlington, Virginia with producers Chad Clark and TJ Lipple at the helm. A host of DC friends joined in, including the Roofwalkers' Elmer Sharp (drums), Ben Licciardi (backing vocals), and Raj Gadhia (bass and vocals); These United States' J. Tom Hnatow (pedal steel); and Winston Yu (strings).

What We Gained in the Fire - Video

Also out now is a new video for "What We Gained in the Fire", the opening track from the Mynabirds' debut album. The video premiered on Friday at AOL Spinner. Director Rob Walters layers new Super 8 footage of singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn traversing a snowy landscape with vintage footage of her own family's home movies that span three generations. Stretching from the 1940's to present day, the viewer gets a window into a family story, watching clips of young love blossom, of babies growing into men, piecing together what might really be going on behind the nuclear family facade.

The Mynabirds Stop By Daytrotter, Kick Off Tour Today

Laura Burhenn has had a busy year.  She released What We Lose In The Fire We Gain in the Flood (Saddle Creek), her acclaimed debut album as The Mynabirds, and opened for everyone from Al Green to Built to Spill.  Burhenn and her band also recently stopped by Daytrotter to record a session, which was just posted today.  Click HERE to listen to them perform 3 songs off the album plus the new song “Lemon Tree,” which was recorded for the first time.  The band is also about to hit the road on a national tour, including dates with Crooked Fingers and David Bazan.

After the break-up of her former band, Georgie James, Burhenn wrote a collection of songs that meditated on the themes of loss and recovery.  She recorded the compositions with Richard Swift and the results are the ten tracks on What We Lose.  A potent mix of soul, gospel, and country, Burhenn created The Mynabirds’ aesthetic based on how she thought Neil Young would sound doing Motown.  Serendipitously, she later found out that Young once collaborated with Rick James for a Motown project under the name The Mynah Birds!  Click HERE for more info on The Mynabirds, plus photos and mp3’s to listen to.

The Mynabirds Fall Tour Dates:

09/02: Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory
09/03:  Austin, TX @ The Mohawk&
09/05:  Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress&
09/06:  San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar&
09/07:  Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland&
09/08:  San Francisco, CA @ Café Du Nord&
09/10:  Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern&
09/11: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios&
09/16:  Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall*
09/17:  Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick*
09/18:  Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace*
09/19:  Montreal, QC @ Il Motore*
09/21:  Burlington, VT @ Club Metronome*
09/22:  Cambridge, MA @ TT The Bear’s*
09/24:  Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl*
09/25:  Washington DC @ Black Cat*
09/26:  Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern*
09/27:  Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle*
09/28:  Atlanta, GA @ The Earl*
09/29:  Nashville, TN @ Exit/In*
10/01:  Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits*
10/02:  Orlando, FL @ The Social*
10/03:  Tallahassee, FL @ The Engine Room*
10/05:  Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree*
10/06:  New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks*
10/07: Shreveport, LA @ The Collective

* = w/ David Bazan
& = w/ Crooked Fingers

The Mynabirds Announce Spring Tour, Album in Stores Now

With this week’s release of her debut album as The Mynabirds, Laura Burhenn has officially turned the page from her role as one half of Georgie James.  Following The Mynabirds’ acclaimed first single “Numbers Don’t Lie,” Laura is giving another taste of What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood (Saddle Creek) with the bouncy, kiss-off anthem “Let The Record Go.”  Download the track HERE and if you haven’t heard “Numbers” yet you can check it out HERE.  For the next week you can also stream the full album HERE on Saddle Creek’s website.  Catch Laura and her band live when they kick off their spring tour on April 30th, which includes dates opening for Josh Ritter.

What We Lose draws from the gospel, old soul, and rock n roll that Burhenn was raised on, and many of the lyrics are inspired by a Zen-like view of the themes of loss and recovery.  With a surprisingly husky voice, considering her small stature, Burhenn adorns her words with a rich and emotive tone.  In the studio, singer-songwriter/producer Richard Swift helped carry out Burhenn’s vision, resulting in an album packed with both subtle detail and immediate charm.

The album also includes some notable guest artists.  Tom Hnatow (These United States) played pedal steel, Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes) arranged the horns on the album and backing vocals were provided by Orenda Fink (Azure Ray) and engineer/producer AJ Mogis (Monsters of Folk, Cursive, Tilly and The Wall).

Listen to The Mynabirds' "Let the Record Go"

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The Mynabirds – Spring Tour 2010:

* = with Josh Ritter

4/30: Des Moines, IA, Vaudeville Mews

5/1: Omaha, NE, Slowdown

5/7: Minneapolis, MN, Cedar Cultural Center

6/1: Cleveland, OH, Beachland Tavern

6/2: Washington, DC, Black Cat

6/3: Brooklyn, NY, The Bell House

6/6: Chicago, IL, Do Division Festival

6/7: Chicago, IL, Empty Bottle

6/8: Iowa City, IA, The Mill

6/11: Birmingham, AL, WorkPlay Theatre *

6/12: Baton Rouge, LA, Manship Theatre *

6/14: Austin, TX, Antone's *

6/15: Dallas, TX, Granada *