Are They Still Transplants?

We’re Gonna Run  2011 

307 KNOX Records  Durham, NC

I came to Birds + Arrows late, after their departure from North Carolina, after they fled the folk of their roots and embraced something different in the Sonoran Desert.  Something in the desert wind and landscape changed them, not so much their roots don’t show, but the desert made them edgier, less easy to typecast, and frankly a depth of range in songs that is pretty damn amazing.  Listening to this record, you can totally feel the band opening for WILCO, and you can hear the roots of what would blossom when the married duo hit Sonora.

You see, Birds + Arrows are something special to me. They emulate everything about my Hookworm Records vision, they are fantastically beautiful human beings, and they inspire me to be better, as a creator, an artist, a producer… and so I signed them. Not only for #HookwormTWO but as a band!  Hookworm Records will be producing the new Birds + Arrows record, and we could not be more excited to tackle this new venture with a more dynamic duo.

Time Alone drives that folk home right off the top of Side A. The instrumentation is gorgeous, the strings add the perfect accompaniment.  And their lyrics. Oh My God! Poetry is Necessary.  

BIRDS + ARROWS

Arrows in the Air and Mountain Air are my favorite tracks from Side A. It is the solid constant backbeat of Pete’s drums and the way that his voice curls around that of his wife and creates this place in the music where you can simply not imagine them creating with anyone else.  “Bright Red Blood on the upturned dirt I can’t tell if it’s mine or where I hurt a sky so big” but “with a running start you can change those impossible odds to get where we’re going it’s gonna be hard so forget what you’re knowing. That’s a start.”  The way to my great big broken heart, my friends, is through poetry. Andrea and Pete Connolly are poets.  And Poetry is Necessary.

On the Upcoming Record!!!!

I leave Side A as always in love with their words and their amazing instrumentation. If they can’t do it, they collaborate with some amazing musicians.  But I also have the knowledge of what their 2022 record sounds like, and I can hear what the duo will become even in the folk base of We’re Gonna Run. This band released a triumph from Arizona called Arbitrary Magic. It marks a desert and sun transformation, a Phoenix from flames, a rebirth in the wild and foreign desert.  What you have coming from this duo, next year on Hookworm Records is that transformation becoming complete. Andrea and Pete are desert dwellers now. They have embraced the Sonoran life in heart, body and soul. And the wicked beauty of our landscapes, or temperatures, our flora and fauna…… all merge into something that is no longer folk, but does not forget its roots.  These North Carolina transplants…. Have come into their own as Arizonans.  Take Cover Arizona.

On Arbitrary Magic

Side B leads off with Summer’s Gone“Hissing limbs a dry september breeze… like love songs on mixtapes they’re singing of their loss and bracing for the frost.” It seems so much more poignant knowing they left those North Carolina forests… to find something new in themselves.  This is a quiet and subdued record. It is one to listen to LOUD and just listen to the arrangements and melodies and marvel at the poetry.  April 12th is heartbreaking. A day that created a poem about death, loss, and the eternal questions.  The poetry is what is special in this record, if you dismiss this record as simple – you are mucho mistaken.  

The Sonoran Evolution

But in the end, what excites me the most about this record is knowing how a decade is going to merge these sounds, this poetry, and Hookworm Records is going to bring you this new record from Tucson’s Birds + Arrows, and you tell us……. Are they still transplants?

Covering BECK

I think you will embrace them with open arms as a True Arizona Original.  Reborn in the Tattooed Desert.  I am very good friends with Mr. Richard Shelton, talk about Poetry Being Necessary! 

“Richard Shelton is my favorite poet of all time. Seriously. I mean, I’m also a big fan — obsessive fan — of Rilke, Neruda, Dylan Thomas, and on and on, but only Shelton and Simon Ortiz can capture so perfectly the part of the world that I call home: The American Interior West/Southwest. This, and all of Shelton’s work, is a must read for anyone who lives in, or is interested in, the Sonoran Desert.”

Jonathan Thompson on Goodreads.

Word Jonathon Thompson.  Listen to Birds + Arrows.

The First Single from the New Record – GEMINI

Pick up some of this amazing band’s discography, and get ready.  The new one….. Is taking us somewhere else. Into a Pandemic, Into a World of no Music and no Live Shows……. And we are so proud and excited to share it with you!  Summer 2022.

#KeepYourShinySidesUp Amigos