Birds and Beasts
Birds and Beasts are growing as artists and as creatives, they have just released their second single, Silver Moon Array off their Upcoming Album - Kozmik Disko (Out March 26th) and are set to be releasing more new music in the coming months ahead. During lockdown they have been using their time well and have been busy writing and producing. Leo has been learning how to animate and has produced a beautiful music promo for their new single Silver Moon Array, that is about a hedgehog who wakes up early and discovers a housing estate instead of beautiful countryside.. Take a look
I caught up with band for a catch up...
Tell us what you have been doing over lockdown?
Anna: Other than heaps of songwriting and rehearsing we have been enjoying doing lots of cooking. Our current favourite recipe books have been the 'Bosh' ones.
Leo: We have started paying a lot more attention to planning meals ahead of time, eliminating food waste and living on a tight musicians budget!! Of course we have some super exciting musical projects developing but they are under wraps for now. Hush, hush, strictly on the QT.
You have been doing lots of gigs online, do you enjoy gigging online and what was the last gig you went to? and the last gig you did?
Leo. The last non-home gig we played was with 'Stone Foundation' at Loafers in the Piece Hall in August 2020. It was outside and socially distanced, amazing to have the opportunity to play but it was strange keeping our distance from people too.
Anna: the last gig we went to was Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals at The Golden Lion in Todmorden. It was an amazing night, he played with Kliph Scurlock who used to play with The Flaming Lips. We managed to have a chat with Kliph after but missed talking to Gruff, we both love that wonderful Welsh man.
Leo: thinking about the last gigs we went to apart I think Anna's was the hardcore festival at Temple of Boom in Leeds. Mine was Lambchop which Anna kindly bought me a ticket for. I took along a buddy and we had a bit too much to drink and missed the train to the gig...gutted...I have yet to live that down.
Anna: as for gigging online. It is great to be able to do it but not a substitute for the real thing. I think we will always keep doing it periodically though once face to face gigs resume. The best thing about it is going from encore to pyjamas within 5 minutes when we finish!
Your Album Kozmik Disko is coming out at the end of March, how does it differ to your first album Entwined and how would you describe both albums? and how are they different ?
Leo: Entwined is a bit more laid back. Kozmik Disko is us starting to experiment a bit more and taking some steps in a more psychedelic and electronic direction.
Anna: I think Entwined represents winter and Kozmik Disko spring...we have already started on the summer and autumn albums, then I guess the cycle starts again haha!
Do you have a favourite track on each album? what is it and why?
Anna: from Entwined I would choose Torn Apart, I like how it builds throughout the song and it reminds me of Ballybunion beach in Ireland where we started to write the song. From Kozmik Disko it would be Wolfpack, I love the atmospheric intro with Leo's violin and it is a favourite to play live.
Leo: from Entwined I would probably choose Turn With The Tide, I think the production on that track sounded really good. I especially liked the switch from a drum machine to an acoustic drum kit half-way through, as a song though I think Like Your Shadow is the best. On Kozmik Disko I think I will choose Hostile Shore, it is the very first song we wrote as Birds and Beasts and I was pleased we included this version on the album, I was also particularly pleased to use our vintage Hammond organ on the coda, it really lifted it for me!
What have you learnt from this time?
Anna: to enjoy the little things in life, take things as they come and not get upset about things you cannot control.
Leo: I have started to learn a bit of pedal steel guitar. For the uninitiated it is a bit like a cross between a guitar and a piano except you play it with your feet, knees and hands. You have heard it on a million country records, it is super tricky to master but luckily simple things on it sound amazing too!
What are you looking forward too, this year?
Leo: we have been working really hard on getting our electronic set up and running. We have gigged it a couple of times in the past but in the future we want the majority of our gigs to be this way.
Anna: seeing my parents in Germany as soon as the situation allows, it has been over a year and I miss them so much.
You have just launched your single tell us about the creation of this song. ?
Anna: It is called Silver Moon Array, it was inspired by seeing a hedgehog mid winter in a local housing estate. Array is the collective noun for hedgehogs.
Leo: the video also features a lot of animation we have done ourselves. We are getting better at learning this new skill and are really excited to share it with people!
You have a double bill with Elaine Palmer on Saturday 20th of February. What do you love about Elaine's music and have you played on the same stage before?
Leo: actually our last real life gig with Elaine was our last gig, it was the day after the Stone Foundation one in August I think?
Anna: you are right. We both loved Elaine's songs and she has a great voice, really looking forward to this one!
Have you discovered any new hobbies in this time, if yes what are they? and are you looking forward to one day playing live again?
Anna: we can't wait, we really miss it! I have expanded my house plant collection and managed to keep most of them alive.
Leo: my only non-band related activities are tinkering with a couple of old motorcycles I try to keep running well. The weather hasn't been too suitable for that though so I have been learning to shave with an old fashioned cut throat razor with a view to saving money on razor blades. I am just starting to get the hang of it but there have been quite a few cuts along the way!
Go to http://www.birdsandbeasts.net to find out more...
Kozmik Disko is out on March 26th 2021