Incoming: New Mynabirds LP

 

Listen to
the new single “Generals” HERE. Album is due Jun 6 on Saddle
Creek.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

 

Following 2010’s critically acclaimed debut What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the
Flood
and a year on the road touring as part of Bright Eyes,
singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn teamed up with producer Richard Swift again and
emerged with GENERALS, a sophomore album fully armed. In place of the Zen
meditations found on the Mynabirds’ first album, GENERALS is filled with armies
of stomps and claps, sweeping full spectrum orchestrations, and moments that
range from intensely personal pleas to shout-out-loud protests with teeth.

 

 

[Read the 2010 BLURT
interview with Burhenn right here.)

 

 

GENERALS is both a protest record and concept album. It’s fueled by a full decade of Burhenn’s
political frustration and aimed at finding a revolutionary yet pacifist way in
a world where, these days, it seems warring comes quick. Musically you can hear
echoes of early PJ Harvey, politically-charged Nina Simone and Low-era David
Bowie. It gets down and hip hop dirty, flirts with African melodies and
rhythms, goes four-on-the-floor for all out dance jams and has plenty of
percussion. Burhenn even plays drums herself on a couple of songs, and a
5-gallon bucket in homage to DC
street Go-Go on another.

 

Lyrically, GENERALS sings the voice of the collective
frustration, then moves beyond that. “It was important for me that this
record made sense of my own anger and turned it into positive energy,”
Burhenn says. “I needed it to be transformative – of both the individual
and the body politic. It’s as much a meditation on Walt Whitman’s hope for America as
Gandhi’s directive to ‘be the change you want to see in the world.'”

 

The album’s name comes from a Richard Avedon photo entitled
“Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution.” Looking at
the portrait of upper class ladies in their pristine satin gowns, Burhenn considered
her own supposed eligibility to be a member of DAR and thought about what true
revolutionary American women look like. The lineage of women that have stood up
to injustice for well over a hundred years – women like Sojourner Truth, Rosa
Parks, Gloria Steinem, Naomi Wolf – they get their hands dirty. And Burhenn
wanted to pay tribute to that.

 

In conjunction with the release of the album, Burhenn is
launching a portrait project called The New Revolutionists
(www.thenewrevolutionists.org). In an election year when so much time, energy
and money will be spent on political contests, Burhenn wanted to shine a light
on women making a difference – often on shoestring or even nonexistent budgets
– in their own communities all over America, whether they’re making headlines
or not.

 

The Mynabirds will tour the US in advance of their album
release this March, including dates in the midwest, on the west coast, and down
south at SXSW.

 

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