Brown Bird — Axis Mundi ≡°≡ Indie folk ensemble formed as a vehicle for vocalist and songwriter David Lamb. The story behind this album is beautifully sad. I am deeply grateful for another album of Brown Bird. To realize it is the last one, makes me very sad.
≡°≡ I discovered the band after the death of Dave. What a terrible loss for the world. Favorite track: Adolescence.
Formed: 2002 in Seattle, WA
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Album release: April 28, 2015
Vinyl release: June 30th, 2015
Record Label: Supply and Demand
01 Focus 3:05
02 Adolescence 4:22
03 Bannermen 3:32
04 Aloha Senor Mano 3:16
05 Blood From the Tree 4:29
06 Pale and Paralyzed 3:39
07 Ephraim 4:42
08 Forest of Fevers 3:24
09 Shadrach 2:52
10 Patiently Awaiting 3:11
11 Novelty of Thought 5:06
12 Raging Squall 4:05
13 Sackcloth and Ash 3:21
14 Smoke Rising 4:34
15 Tortured Boy 4:21
16 Avalon 0:46
≡°≡ David Lamb
≡°≡ Jeremy Robinson
≡°≡ Jerusha Robinson
LINDA FAHEY, APRIL 19, 201511:10 PM ET
≡°≡ When David Lamb, half of the Rhode Island–based duo Brown Bird, succumbed to an aggressive relapse of leukemia in April 2014 after a year–long battle with the disease, the music world lost one of the most exciting, intriguing and original voices this reviewer had heard in years. Not only that, we lost a truly kind–hearted man who was deeply loved by friends, family and legions of fans who approach cult–like passion for Brown Bird's genre–defying music. Dave's passing was a surprise and a blow to all of us who followed his struggle with the disease online.
≡°≡ One year later, on April 28, MorganEve Swain, Lamb's life and musical partner, will release Brown Bird's final project, an album called Axis Mundi — named for the place where earth and heaven meet. Swain finished the album with the help of her brother, Spencer Swain (producer) and friend and engineer Seth Manchester. All songs on the album, except for one ("Tortured Boy" by Swain), were written either shortly before Dave's original diagnosis in early 2013 or during his period of treatment and recovery. Dave recorded his demo tracks in their home studio with an eye on finishing the album and taking it on tour.
≡°≡ In an open letter MorganEve Swain explains, "Axis Mundi, though it wasn't our intention, is a body of work, which illustrates our musical and personal journey together. Musically, it spans our evolution from solo project to psych–rock, Balkan, Romani, blues inspired duo." Further she says, "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."
≡°≡ Brown Bird's music is often tagged as "folk." No doubt you will hear folk influences, but to be clear, as Lamb wanted, these two make it rock. ≡°≡ http://www.npr.org/
Artist Biography by Margaret Reges
≡°≡ The indie folk ensemble Brown Bird initially formed as a vehicle for lead vocalist and songwriter David Lamb. In 2003, having lived briefly in Seattle, Lamb moved east to Portland, Maine, where he started working on a handful of folk tunes that compared favorably to the spare, rough–hewn work of artists like Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Iron & Wine. Lamb's friends, Jerusha and Jeremy Robinson, were soon brought on board to round out Brown Bird's sound, and the trio self–released their debut full–length, Tautolougy, in 2006. The band self–released one more disc, Such Unrest, the following year before they were picked up by Portland, Maine's Peapod Recordings. Their first album on that label, The Bottom of the Sea, came out in 2008; Lamb undertook a solo tour of the U.S. in support of that release soon after. While he was on the road, Lamb made the acquaintance of the Rhode Island–based multi–instrumentalists MorganEve Swain and Mike Samos, who ended up playing in support of Lamb for a couple of his solo shows. Swain and Samos were brought on board as full–fledged members of Brown Bird before the year came to an close. Brown Bird's fourth studio album, The Devil Dancing, was released in November of the following year. Inspired by the writings of Omar Khayyam, Christopher Hitchens, and Plato, among others, the newly minted duo's fifth outing, the self–produced Fits of Reasons, dropped in early 2013. ≡°≡ While on the road in support of the album, Lamb, who had been in poor health for several months, was diagnosed with leukemia. Sadly, he succumbed to the disease on April 5, 2014. The following year, Swain, with the help of her brother Spencer Swain and engineer Seth Manchester, applied the finishing touches to Axis Mundi, the duo's final album. ≡°≡ http://www.allmusic.com/
≡°≡ Dave Lamb and MorganEve Swain met in the summer of 2008, while touring with their respective musical projects up the East Coast. They shared four shows together; a week later, Dave moved in with MorganEve, and MorganEve became the other half of Brown Bird.
≡°≡ Brown Bird, which Dave began in 2003 and which underwent several personnel changes before settling as a duo, released six full–length records and two E.P’s in its 11 years of existence. Musically, Lamb consistently bent the boundaries of the genres imposed on him, and challenged his abilities as a performer and writer, always determined to produce the best music he could. Likewise, MorganEve, whose primary instrument is violin, expanded to playing cello, upright bass, viola and electric bass in her years with Lamb. Always insisting that they were not a “folk band”, Brown Bird pulled inspiration from the music they loved — Middle–Eastern psych–rock from the ‘60s and ‘70s, intricate post–metal, the music of the Balkan gypsies — and paired it with lyrics that illustrated and questioned the world around them.
≡°≡ In May of 2013, while on tour in support of Fits of Reason, Dave, who had experienced several months of flu–like symptoms and anemia, was diagnosed with leukemia. He received a successful bone marrow transplant that September, but in March 2014, suffered an aggressive leukemic relapse. On April 5th, 2014, Dave Lamb succumbed to the disease, surrounded by family, friends and music.
≡°≡ During the year following his diagnosis and transplant, Dave used his recovery time as an unexpected opportunity to delve into writing. Confined to their RI apartment, Dave and MorganEve spent the year planning for the next album, and the next tour. In the Fall of 2014, MorganEve will be releasing Brown Bird’s final effort on Supply & Demand Music.