The Morning Birds are an intense, atmospheric and completely original band that are extremely hard to peg down sonically. And when it comes down to it, why bother? Music should be an experience, and I must say, The Morning Birds certainly fulfill this requirement. Dubbed as part classic pop, part emotional rock n’ roll, the duo is made up of Samuel Markus and Jennifer Thorington. Like Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard of the renowned group Dead Can Dance, Samuel and Jennifer don’t shy away from venturing into left field, or towards the deeper levels of the human consciousness.
On “Yellow Moon”, the symphonic aspects laid over-top guitars are enough to get you sinking into your centre, but it’s when Markus and Thorington sing “Come along with us through the lush garden of the Yellow Moon” that you know there is an exciting, and unabashedly dark, vibration in this project. Samuel Markus has a deep and wise Mark Lanegan-type tone while Jennifer Thorington’s ethereal delivery puts her in the Cocteau Twins category sonically. Note: both artists have original voices. This is just to give the reader an idea of why they should check out The Morning Birds. Check out the outro of this track for a daring philosophical breakdown.
“Born To Be Alive” bops along with a radically different tone, and who could argue? It’s enthusiasm. Strange enthusiasm. After all, it’s not called “Born To Saunter Along” or “Born To Tow The Line”. The harmonies are absolutely mesmerizing, and this song is just about as interesting as they come. Clap your hands and get on board. “Treasure” brings a more classic pop flavour once again, and I’m starting to understand their niche. The key choices and dynamic shifts are fascinating, and the harmonies dance all over the track once again.
“Surrender to This” has a slight reggae feel mixed with rock n’ roll and pop and a similar chord structure to “All My Love” by The Beatles. There’s so much going on – handclaps, trombones, bare bones guitars, minimal percussion and strange vocal lines. Definitely multiple listen music.
“Your Heart” opens with the profound lyric “The void ain’t going to suck you in. It’s going to open up your heart” before leading us into possibly the strongest groove on the album, with the Ray Manzarek/Doors inspired keyboard part and hand drums bringing a 60’s psychedelia to the mix. The message is one of the most truthful and and worthwhile I’ve heard. I would put this song in the realm of truly great songs, actually. Quote me on it! This is stunning and I would recommend anyone listen to it and connect with what’s being said. A song for the heart centre indeed. On the iPod it goes immediately.
“The Silence” slows the pace for a folk approach, and it gives the album a wider reach. Markus and Thorington work their magic over a single acoustic guitar and minimal sound effects. “The Fox” closes the album with a dreamy bed time story, and it’s another solid track with intriguing electronic elements and a pleasant lead vocal by Jennifer Thorington. Though this track lacked the type of impact or intensity that songs like “Your Heart” and “Yellow Moon”, it’s sweet and serves a diferent purpose.
“Surrender To This” by The Morning Birds is an excellent release with tracks that reach brilliance. You can’t ask for anything more than that.
Buy the album at The Morning Bird’s Bandcamp.