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British prog rock band
will release EP
‘Dancing In The Face Of Danger’
The Way Down
Bear the Weight
Ever the Optimist
No Longer We Lie
EXPLORING BIRDSONG are:
Lynsey Ward – vocals, piano
Jonny Knight – bass, synthesizers
Matt Harrison – drums, percussion
A beautifully curious blend of pop-sensibility, delicacy, experimentation and heaviness.
Piano led, guitar-less trio EXPLORING BIRDSONG are paving their own musical path with their latest record ‘Dancing in the Face of Danger’.
Their acclaimed 2019 debut EP ‘The Thing With Feathers’, a concept release centred on theSeamus Heaney poem ‘Bye Child’ and the story of Kevin Halfpenny, one of the most bizarre cases of child cruelty ever recorded, caught the eyes of key players in the UK press (Prog magazine, Kerrang! Magazine, Classic Rock Magazine) and achieved two Progressive Music Awards nominations in the same year.
‘Dancing in the Face of Danger’, recorded and mixed at Northstone Studios, Bridgend, builds on the musical foundations of ‘The Thing With Feathers’.
The five track EP has an evolutionary growth;
synthesizers and a live string section add texture and gravity to the piano led core, and whilst the record isn’t conventionally conceptual, lyrically, the band describe each track as “having its own tale to tell”.
A constant, however, is the mesmerising voice of singer Lynsey Ward.
Powerful, vulnerable, controlled, and emotionally captivating, her vocals are at the heart of the band’s ability to straddle the boundaries between genres.
Ranking highly in the Prog Magazine Readers’ Poll for Female Vocalist of the Year for two consecutive years, Lynsey gained the attention of Australian metal outfit Caligula’s Horse, who duets on the cover of Peter Gabriel’s ‘Don’t Give Up’, performing the parts originally sung by Kate Bush.
The first single from the new EP, ‘Ever the Optimist’, was originally penned when the band studied at LIPA, Sir Paul McCartney’s prestigious performing arts institution in Liverpool.
The band’s songwriting talents earned them a one to one songwriting session with Sir Paul, with whom they crafted the skeleton of ‘Ever the Optimist’.
Described by the band as
“a complete melting pot of all the influences that makes us sound like us”
the single sees the band steer closer to their pop influences than ever before.
The young group most recently made their European debut at Euroblast festival (Cologne, DE), their first live performance since their five city inaugural headline tour across the UK in September 2021, including London, Manchester and Birmingham, and following the successful support tours with the likes of Sleep Token and Thank You Scientist.
Whilst the band refuse to be pigeon-holed to one genre, they evoke elements of Agent Fresco, Kate Bush, Everything Everything, Sleep Token and Karnivool.
Olly Thomas, Kerrang Magazine:
“What’s remarkable is how such a new band have both hit upon and fully delivered on their genuinely idiosyncratic vision so early on.”
the band about the title:
“‘Dancing in the Face of Danger’ was named in the height of the pandemic, back in the summer of 2020. As the world was seemingly on the brink of collapse, we were finishing the writing of the songs that would form this record. We found observing the behaviour and reactions of different people to the unfolding of events around the world fascinating. With this in mind, we wanted the title to be able to be seen from two perspectives; firstly, dangerous ignorance and denial of responsibility when faced with real problems with potentially catastrophic consequences. Secondly, positivity and kindness and a desire to be a source of light in times laden with darkness and negativity. The title remains as a comment on the different behaviours of society as the world continues to face issues on a global scale.”
The band about the cover:
“We wanted the artwork to reflect the apocalyptic nature of the title and songs we had created for this record and felt that working with Paul Phillips (True Spilt Milk Designs), would be a perfect match for the direction we wanted to take. The baron landscape depicted on the cover is broken only by a single source of light emanating from the window of an abandoned house, illuminating a lone woman, seemingly in need of salvation. Despite the woman being in need, we felt it important to reflect that the very thing giving her a light in the dark was also itself hollow, abandoned, and close to caving in.”
The band’s analysis track by track:
“The chorus for ‘Pyre’ was actually written way back in 2017, but we never felt it had a match, song wise. We shelved it until a couple of years back when we started forming the blueprint for what would become Pyre. It was almost a ‘cut and paste’ job, with the themes, key, and general vibe of something we had written so long ago. The outro is collectively one of our favourite things we’ve ever written.”
The Way Down
“‘The Way Down’ is probably the heaviest song we have ever written. Aside from the weight of the main riff, we wanted the verses to have an overwhelming sense of dread; almost like that indescribable feeling in the air before a storm is due. This is reflected in the lyrics, for example ‘those grey clouds are rolling in fast’, and ‘it’s hard to pretend that the worst part’s over’ – the only respite from this feeling being the chorus and the bridge, where even though the instrumental is lighter, the lyrical content is still dark.”
Bear the Weight
“‘Bear the Weight’ has gone through a few different structure changes since we first formed the skeleton for the song back in 2019, but contains one of our collective favourite choruses. Lyrically it is one of the conceptual on the record; it is written from the perspective of one of thousands of workers, working on a building / structure of massive scale against their will. They are merely a number, and the only thing to relieve them of their duties is death – however they know they will only be replaced by someone else, so to prevent someone going through what they have experienced, they continue. ‘We bear the weight, to defend the man who would fall in your place.”
Ever the Optimist
“This song certainly has the most interesting back story to any of the tracks we’ve written. When in university back in 2018, Lyns and Matt were given the opportunity to have a one on one songwriting session with Sir Paul McCartney. This is the song they took into the session and worked on with Sir Paul himself. It’s by far the poppiest song on the record and was the catalyst for centring our songs around synths as well as sole piano parts.”
No Longer We Lie
“This song probably encapsulates the over arcing themes of the EP the strongest, and as a composition, is one of the songs we’re proudest of. The chorus took us the most time to figure out of anything else on the record, but we feel it paid off; it’s one of the 3 least conventional choruses we’ve written but we wanted it to represent the chaos shown in the lyrics throughout the song. ‘We will make them feel hell now’.”