Material: Echoing a less complicated time of transparent sound, Bird Streets offers an eclectic mix of delicious harmony and insistent rhythms that deliver an invitational story, offering the perfect backdrop for a night out with your closest crew. From the energetic drive of “Until the Crown” to the poolside afternoon vibe of “Same Dream,” New York-based frontman John Brodeur has clearly been bitten by California. With a laid-back feel reminiscent of 1970s American pop and Britpop blended with raw, authentic lyrics drawing on early ‘90s grunge, the band’s repertoire makes for a beautiful evening of introspective art wrapped in beguiling indie rock.
Musicianship: Brodeur is the main presence but his delivery demonstrates a deep respect for his fellow musicians and leaves ample room for each to add their unique flavor. The sensitivity and ease of Ben Lecourt’s drumming in “Bullets” and his ability to lead without pushing, along with the tasty harmonies and guitar fun from Michael Lockwood on “Carry Me,” leave the listener enthralled by the band’s combined experience, all conveyed in a subtle pop package. Brodeur’s sound feels natural and effortless, whether in the Simon & Garfunkel meets The Beatles meets Bono vocals of “Pretty Bones,” or in his delightful falsetto harmonizing with bassist Keith Hosmer in the catchy “Betting On The Sun.”
Performance: Engaging and upbeat from the start, Bird Streets invites the listener on a journey of relatable stories, which are told throughout the night and hold the room captive. The intuitive communication between these seasoned performers draws all attention to the music. “Stop to Breathe” arrives as the showstopper, including an epic guitar battle, feisty lyrics, and another gorgeous blend of vocal harmonies between Brodeur and Hosmer.
Summary: Sophisticated musicianship, seamless interplay, and an engaging, polished sound, leaves Bird Streets on an open path to attract more attention on the national stage and beyond. Brodeur’s smooth and somehow familiar voice hovers over it all, making it easy to settle in to his gifted storytelling. The eponymous album may not do justice to Brodeur’s lilting live falsetto, but this is all the more reason to experience the band live. – Andrea Beenham
Players: John Brodeur, guitar, lead vocals; Michael Lockwood, guitar; Keith Hosmer, bass, backing vocals; Ben Lecourt, drums; Miranda Lee Richards, guest vocals; Joanna Choy, guest vocals; Vug Arakas, guest piano