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In the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge beneath the rumbling tracks of the elevated JMZ trains, The Falling Birds cultivate their sound in a dimly lit Brooklyn basement. Piecing together a half century’s worth of raw American music and combining elements of blues, country, and grunge rock. The Falling birds junkyard eclecticism is evident on their debut EP, Native America.
Principal songwriter Stephen Artemis grew up in Albany, raising hell with his friends and soaking up the grunge and post punk sounds of the 90’s. During summer breaks, Artemis would travel to rural, upstate New York where life was slower, trouble was harder to find and radio reception was limited to three AM stations consisting of country, classic rock, and oldies. In this isolation Stephen was taught his first lessons in song writing, being that the only way for him to hear new material was to create it on his own.
It was during this fundamental coming of age when Stephen bore witness to the great economic decline of what is now known as America’s Rust Belt. The daunting realization of this experience had a profound effect on his song writing. Years later, after moving to New York City and living firsthand the great disparity that exists in America, Stephen began telling many of these stories in his songs.
For a number of years, Stephen rattled around New York’s music scene, performing with various band members and line-ups. It wasn’t until he hooked up with Drummer (David Burton) and Bassist (Nick Albury) in 2013 when the musical chemistry was right. The Falling Birds began anew.
Using New York’s highly competitive proving grounds to cut their teeth, their live show began to attract a following, with the three musicians honing in on what they affectionately call their “musical conversation... a place where each instrument brings something to the discussion.” Before long they were invited to a friend’s basement studio where recorded the Native America EP. Their treatment of the songs shows a deft consideration for the mingling of music and lyrics; the gentile topics receive tender musicianship while the more rowdy themes are equipped with blazing blues riffs.
Reflecting on the EP, Artemis is keen on the way the band was able to translate their sound to tape. Through the recording process each member intently “turned their stage presence into an electrical signal” resulting in a raw and galvanizing debut that conveys the dissimilitude he set out to capture.