Shining Bird emerges from a long period of darkness, both personal and global, with their third studio album Deadlands out August 20th via Spunk Records. Produced by Tim Whitten, with cover art by Ben Quilty and photography from Stephen DuPont.
Recording for the first time live and as a full band, this album showcases the band's mastery of cathartic improvisation and stripped back song-writing. Produced by Tim Whitten (The Go Betweens, Midnight Oil) and Russell Webster, there was a conscious decision to strip away the synthesisers and studio trickery to focus on pure song-writing.
Shining Bird keyboardist and producer Russell Webster discusses Tim’s expanded role within the album production this time around, “working with Tim has been an amazing experience. He is essentially the 8th member of The Bird at this point. Tim is an incredibly gifted and intuitive producer who totally gets our sound and vision. He helped us record live takes with little to no overdubs.”
Tim had handled mixing duties on the majority of the previous album Black Opal but having him involved from the inception of Deadlands has seen the band stray a little from its pop roots, leaning towards sixties style of experimentation. Thematically, explorations of identity, culture, grief, sorrow and hope all make their way somehow onto this record, lyrically and visually, with album artwork by Archibald prize winner Ben Quilty, and band photography by the highly respected Steven DuPont.
Deadlands is certainly not a conventional album release. Following the 2013 debut Leisure Coast and the 2016 follow up Black Opal, the seven piece outfit spent time playing shows, time totally away from music and used what opportunities they could to head into the studio to record new music over the last three years. The result has seen five epic songs that clocks the album in longer than many traditional full-length releases emerge as the end result. Despite being recorded sporadically over a three-year period, Deadlands maintains a very cohesive album feel.
The vinyl release of Deadlands will see the album come together as it was supposed to, with the band to follow it up with a number of live shows throughout the remainder of 2021. Finally getting the album out to the world has also given the band a fresh energy, with work on a follow up already under way and album four to follow in the not too distant future.