“…songs so elegantly composed that many could pass for old standards…
Burhenn is as heartbreaking and tuneful as her finest inspirations
while investing her songs with a calm fatalism that sets her apart.”
American singer and multi-instrumentalist Laura Burhenn named her band The Mynabirds partly as a nod to James Joyce, and partly a tribute to Neil Young’s Motown period (The Mynah Birds, with band mate Rick James). Her first album, 2010’s What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, produced by Richard Swift, was a masterful collection of indie-pop songwriting channeling the emotion of old soul, gospel and classic rock, with echoes of Dusty Springfield, Carole King, and yes, Neil Young, bleeding through. Her second album, GENERALS (2012), produced by Swift as well, upped the ante, drawing comparisons to PJ Harvey and Cat Power: a percussive, politically charged album filled with stomps, claps, and sweeping orchestrations, and moments that ranged from intensely personal to shout-out-loud protest. Both records were released to critical acclaim by Omaha-based label Saddle Creek.
Her newest album, currently being readied for a Spring 2015 release, was nearly a year in the making. She drove across the US twice and toured South Africa solo while writing, then spent 8 months in studios in Los Angeles, Nashville and Joshua Tree perfecting the songs and sound. It’s definitely new territory for Burhenn, forging into 80s, 90s and futuristic soundscapes, recalling Sinead O’Connor, Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, and even 90s hip hop and R&B, her brooding, unmistakable voice leading the way.
In addition to The Mynabirds, Burhenn has toured as a member of Bright Eyes and The Postal Service. Her Fall 2014 shows will be intimate, semi-acoustic performances featuring new songs along with some of the old favorites.