Murmurations Volume 2
Released February 25, 2022
Murmuration describes a phenomenon in which flocks of starlings take flight simultaneously, swooping and soaring in unison like a shape-shifting cloud. One could say Birds of Play does the same, entwining their voices and instruments into a single entity that forms unique patterns with each song.
Murmurations Vol. 2 continues Murmurations Vol. 1’s explorations of the natural world and how humans connect with it. When the band launched a Kickstarter campaign for the new album, lead singer and songwriter Alex Paul noted, “The land has been instrumental in how I’ve come to write and share my musicality. It’s very tied to love — love of the land and connection to the land.”
Paul, who also plays guitar, mandolin and bass, formed the band with friends Jack Tolan (guitars, mandolin, vocals) and Eric Shedd (bass, mandolin, guitar and vocals) after winning a solo competition at the 2018 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, along with a Telluride Arts District grant to record an album. They released Anthrophony in 2019.
The trio became a foursome after meeting classically trained violinist and vocalist Anneke Dean in 2020. Sharing a love of wide-open spaces, they created Murmurations Vol. 1 as a concept album expressing their “deep reverence for these magnificent places, and the awe, respect and wonder that exude from that reverence.”
When American Songwriter magazine premiered the Vol. 1 track “Gale and Doug,” it noted the song’s “special, earthy feeling,” adding, “the musicianship exhibited is what really makes the track something extraordinary.” The beauty continues on Murmurations Vol. 2, which contains eight songs filled with intricately woven acoustic arrangements and tight harmonies that swoop and soar together just like those starlings.