Exclusive Premiere: Brown Bird, ‘Bannermen’
Last year, the music community mourned the loss of David Lamb -- one half of the duo Brown Bird. Lamb took a break from touring in support of 2013's Fits of Reason when he was hit with a Leukemia diagnosis. With an immense amount of support from their fans, though, Lamb and his bandmate and wife, MorganEve Swain, fought the disease as best they could, and eventually laid down tracks for a new album.
As they put together the record and made plans to hit the road, Lamb's illness took an unfortunate turn and he passed away on April 5, 2014.
Not allowing his death be the last memory of Brown Bird, Swain has taken those recordings and put them together for their final album of original music, Axis Mundi, set for release later this month. Today (April 2), Diffuser is honored to join Swain in celebrating Brown Bird with the new song, "Bannermen" -- you can listen to it in the audio player below.
Brown Bird often get classified as folk, and while that's not an inaccurate description, it definitely doesn't do the pair or their music justice. "This song exhibits Dave's incredible sense of time and rhythm, our love for intricate melodies and heavy bass, and our desire to bring Brown Bird out of just 'folk' and into a genre that perhaps doesn't yet have a name," Swain tells us. "'Bannermen' might be the song I'm proudest of; [it was] written just before Dave fell ill, with a conscious nod to our Middle Eastern and metal influences."
When the new album was announced, Swain wrote an open letter to fans and explained the meaning behind its title. "Axis Mundi is a phrase I found written in Dave's lyric notebook," she writes. "Upon looking it up, I learned that the 'axis mundi' represents the place where heaven connects with the earth. Often associated with mandalas (which Dave had tattooed on his hands, and which are often featured in our imagery), it expresses the point where the four compass directions meet; where correspondence is made between higher and lower realms. Anything or anyone suspended on the axis becomes a repository for potential knowledge."
She ends the letter with a statement and charge that Diffuser is humbled to be a small part of: "This April marks one year since Dave passed. It is imperative to me that our final collection of music, made together, finds as many people as possible."
Axis Mundi will be released on April 28 via Supply & Demand. You can pre-order the digital, CD and vinyl editions here; get the full background on Brown Bird -- as well as details on their previous releases -- at their official website.