Leaving None But Small Birds is the collaborative album between Portland duo The Body and Canadian band BIG|BRAVE. It will be out on September 24th via Thrill Jockey Records. According to the press release, it distills the two ensembles’ pioneering approach to heavy music into psalms for the forgotten, threnodies of lost love, and odes to vengeance. Check the new excerpt “Polly Gosford“.
The Body’s Lee Buford set up the initial challenge to make an album that evoked the country and folk roots of The Band. BIG|BRAVE’s Robin Wattie compiled lyrics and melodic lines from across Appalachian, Canadian, and English hymns and folk songs. Select phrases were then reworked and precisely arranged to center the experiences of marginalized characters, victims of hardship, and those yearning for love within each story. The despair and empowerment of these traditional tunes draw remarkable parallels with each group’s focus on championing people often cast aside in history. Contributions collected, the final album was composed almost entirely in the studio at Machine With Magnets with engineer/producer Seth Manchester. The title Leaving None But Small Birds was drawn from a “Polly Gosford” lyric: “He covered her grave / and hastened home / Leaving none but small birds / her fate to bemoan,” an unsparing tale of loss and isolation.