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Shining Bird announces new album Open Ground

Jeb Taylor

Shining Bird announce the title of their fourth album Open Ground to be released on August 30th, new single Maia out today!

Over a decade into their journey as a band, Shining Bird have returned with their fourth full length album amidst big transitions surrounding both the band and their personal lives. Open Ground will be the final release on their long-time home - Spunk Records, who are calling it a day after twenty-five amazing years. But the end of one era signals the beginning of a brand new chapter, with the exciting launch of the Silhouette Label run by Shining Bird members Russell Webster and James Kates, who will co-release the new record with Spunk. 

Three members of the band became first time fathers over the last two years, which seems to have shifted the way that songwriting is now approached. Russell says “I think up until this record, we would take a long time to write songs. Anywhere from 3 months to three years. Almost like a garden we would tend to over many seasons, allowing it to grow. This collection of songs came quickly, and it was so much more about capturing or documenting the profound changes moving through us in real time”.

The latest single Maia, released today, is a prime example of this: a piano driven love song written entirely in about two hours. It was recorded around two weeks before Danes daughter Maia was born and he played the recording to her 5 minutes after she arrived. “ The way it all flowed out felt so effortless and mysterious. We’re used to grappling with lyrics to some extent usually” said Dane.

Recording once again with long-time collaborator Tim Whitten, Open Ground has already delivered Out Of The Black, which gave some indication of where the album is headed, but there are some genuine surprises in store throughout this record. 

The album was recorded to tape over four intense days at Golden Retriever in Sydney. “Tim played such a huge role on this one. From arrangement and structure ideas to creating an environment where we all felt safe and relaxed enough to enter and perform these songs from the vulnerable place first emerged “ say the band of their recording experience, on what is their most personal and intimate collection of songs to date. The band also enlisted J Walker (Machine Translations) to contribute his unique string arrangements across Open Ground.

Shining Bird has long been a band that have opted for quality over quantity, taking time to make their releases work, from their debut album Leisure Coast in 2013 through to their most recent Deadlands in 2021. Along the way they have picked up acclaim from leading publications such Rolling Stone and The Guardian, while also winning a handful of FBi SMAC Awards. In the last decade they performed live from their Austinmer hometown to Alice Springs and everywhere in between. 

Open Ground marks the next chapter in the Shining Bird story. It will be released on August 30th via Spunk Records and Silhouette Label. Click on the cover below to pre order now!

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