Bird Streets Celebrate Album Release with Live Show at Rockwood Music Hall August 9
Brooklyn-based musician John Brodeur is the New York songwriter and musician behind Bird Streets. He will be live for an album release party at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 in Manhattan with Jaime Alegre (The Dig, Rathborne) on drums, and Scott Chasolen (The Machine) on keys on Thursday, August 9.
Bird Streets will be released on August 10 via Los Angeles record label Omnivore Recordings. The label is known primarily as a reissues label so when it releases something new, it's always tuneful and noteworthy.
In need of a creative rebirth after years on the music-industry margins, Brodeur reached out to his friend, the producer and multi-instrumentalist Jason Falkner, to suggest they record together. The album yielded by this pairing is both fresh and familiar - a dynamic collection of introspective indie-rock and power-pop that draws liberally on the music of decades past without being bluntly nostalgic, with Brodeur's voice like an old friend you're meeting for the first time.
Over a career that's spanned nearly 20 years, Brodeur has independently produced and released several solo albums, including 2013's Little Hopes; fronted rock trios the Suggestions and Maggie Mayday; and worked as a touring and studio musician for scores of acts, including the Morning After Girls, Freedy Johnston, and White Hills. Falkner is a widely respected performer and producer whose studio credits include Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher, and Daniel Johnston. He's a founding member of power-pop legends Jellyfish, and is the one-man band behind a string of critically lauded solo records, including 1996's Author Unknown; and a longstanding associate of Beck, currently serving as the lead guitarist in his live band.
The name Bird Streets springs from a tony real-estate enclave in the Hollywood Hills, which Brodeur first discovered when the recording sessions were first getting underway - but also references Brodeur's one-time hometown of Albany, N.Y., which provided the characters and inspiration for some of the album's 11 songs.
Brodeur and Falkner were introduced some years ago by mutual friend and fellow one-man-band type Luther Russell (The Freewheelers, Those Pretty Wrongs). Russell appears on Bird Streets via one of the three battling guitar solos that close the track "Stop to Breathe." Other guests include Miranda Lee Richards and Maesa Pullman, whose voices form the "choir of angels" that gives wings to "Spaceship."
Lyrically, these songs draw heavily on internal conflict - self-doubt, anxiety, depression - with an overarching feeling of wistful resignation rather than blind optimism. Periodically difficult themes are delivered via unshakable melodies, a dichotomy that recalls the tightrope walked by artists like Elliott Smith and David Bazan/Pedro the Lion. In album opener "Carry Me," Brodeur celebrates "new beginnings and bitter ends" over a bright, bristling bed of electric guitars, then laments the end of a friendship that was once "tighter than Steely Dan" in the eminently catchy "Betting on the Sun." From there the album jumps between epic power-ballads ("Stop to Breathe") and British Invasion-flavored power-pop ("Thanks for Calling"), the George Harrison-via-Radiohead melancholy of "Heal" and the grungy jangle of "Until the Crown."
Now, after years in the making - and decades on the outside looking in - Bird Streets is giving Brodeur a renewed creative energy, and a shot at reaching a larger audience.