Fish & Bird’s latest album, Every Whisper is a Shout Across the Void, marks a major step forward for the young band. The project began in Victoria, BC in 2006 as an acoustic duo, comprised of Taylor Ashton (banjo, guitar, vocals) and Adam Iredale-Gray (fiddle). On their 2007 self titled debut, their take on ‘folk’ included original songs in odd time signatures and traditional murder ballads with rock beats. 2009’s Left Brain Blues was a more mature exploration of the space between folk traditions and reckless creativity, with Ashton & Gray playing multiple instruments on each song, and toying with the formats that inspired them. Some of the friends they enlisted to help fill out the sound on the record and at live shows eventually became permanent members of the band, and now Fish & Bird are the five-piece indie-folk powerhouse we know today. They have weird vocal improv sections, they rock out in 11/8, sometimes it seems like they’re playing bluegrass, and they might make you cry.
Every Whisper is a Shout Across the Void was released in April 2011. Featuring the full ensemble and some of their strongest material yet, it redefines the Fish & Bird experience yet again. Where 2009’s Left Brain Blues took listeners on a roller coaster ride of varied genres and instrumentation, Every Whisper comes off more like a live show, with all the band’s influences and musical ideas woven tighter into a more cohesive sound. The arrangements are cleaner, the playing is stronger, and Ashton’s singing is at its best, this time finding company in backing vocals from Iredale-Gray and bassist Zoe Guigueno. Fiddler Adam Iredale-Gray is Fish & Bird’s resident recording engineer. In the 2 years since Left Brain Blues, he has cut his teeth on a number of other recording projects for a handful of other western canadian artists, and the experience shows on Every Whisper.
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