In 2011 Birds That Change Colour stopped being Antwerp’s best kept secret when they published their suprising debut album “On Recording The Sun” (Munich Records). This ‘little masterpiece’ (de Morgen 2011) harbours some captivating songs whose mesmerizing undertow might just lure you back to the late sixties.
Apart from writing the songs, playing the guitar and singing, busy beard Koen Kohlbacher managed to surround himself with some amazing musicians: Drummer Dave Schroyen (Millionaire-Evil Superstars), singer Nathalie Delcroix ( Eriksson-Delcroix, Laïs), singer Naomi Sijmons (Reena Riot) and Niels Hendrix (Fence) all form part of Birds’ exquisite line up. It doesn’t take long before this “underground supergroup” (Knack Focus 2011) builds a solid live reputation as their sound evolves from melodic psychfolk to a less polished, rawer “Woodstock Americana”; from Barrett to The Band it seems.
In August 2014 their long-awaited second album “On Recording Birds” will come out on Waste My Records. For this album Birds retreated into the forests of The Ardennes to make outdoor recordings.
“II feel at home in the woods of The Ardennes but, above all, by putting us in these unusual surroundings,
I wanted to push our bounderies as a band and return to the essence
of the song…”
Mission accomplished! On Recording Birds does really sound as if the band was playing in your garden with a summer breeze, rippling creeks and real birds chirping away in the background. However, don’t expect lo-fi recordings of campfire sing alongs as Kohlbacher’s richly layered songs with intricate harmonies and arrangements, doused in a warm yet clear sound, won’t allow it.
Putting aside its original recording process, this record is above all an excellent singersongwriter’s album, built around vocals, acoustic guitar and the song itself. The sensual percussion, the wonderful double bass of Tomas De Smet (King Dalton, Think of One) and the vintage sound of an old Wurlitzer make this diamond in the rough shine even more.
Comparisons with other albums don’t really
hold water because nobody ever heard an album recorded in a forest before. What would Bert Jansch sound like if he had been raised by a
pack of wolves.. or Neil Young whistling The Beach Boys while fishing in a mountain stream.. whereas the enchanting background vocals evoke Dylan accompanied by a band of sirens.. On their second album Birds play with the hands of time deep in the woods, where the roots of American and British music magically intertwine.
On Recording Birds is an honest, small scale production whose greatness lies in its originality. Fans of Bonnie Prince Billy, Bert Jansch, Nick Drake and other masters of song, don’t hesitate: On Recording Birds will be an album to cherish like a warm spring day in the middle of a long and dreary autumn.
Koen Kohlbacher: songs, vocals, guitar, piano Nathalie Delcroix: vocals
Naomi Sijmons: vocals
Niels Hendrix: base, thermin, vocals
Micky Peeters: wurlitzer
Dave Schroyen: drums, percussion. Le Chef Tournel: bass
Agent: Marije van Veen
Label: Waste My Record
Availability: Generally available