New music: "American Flowers"
Birds of Chicago, duo of Allison Russell and JT Nero, reassert the simple notion that beautiful words and music can still tap deep veins of emotion. With stark, elemental imagery that feels like scripture, or a lost folk song recovered, The Birds draw heavily on the gospel tradition, and the music feels like a new, secular gospel of sorts. For Birds of Chicago, every word counts. Every note counts. No gold-dusting, no filler. Music is the good news, and the music of this duo has a quiet but seismic urgency. Birds of Chicago alternate moody rock swagger with ghostly soundscapes. Their music is melancholy but never shoe-gazing. raw and soul-rich. Birds of Chicago have developed a fervent following, touring 200 nights a year since their formation in late 2012, and we last saw them on Friday night at the 2018 Ann Arbor Folk Festival For these Birds, singing for a room full of new people, hearts wide open, keeps off the cold and chases off the shadows. Ace Nashville instrumentalists Steelism open the show.