The Mynabirds

What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood

Saddle Creek

Apr 30, 2010 Issue #31 - Spring 2010 - Joanna Newsom Bookmark and Share


When Washington, DC duo Georgie James called it quits in 2008, Laura Burhenn wasted no time in moving on and moving forward. The Mynabirds, named after Neil Young and Rick James' early Motown band, benefits greatly from her alluring songwriting and singular vocals. With a smoky voice reminiscent of Dusty Springfield, Burhenn wrings all emotions out of these tracks with seeming effortlessness, from the horn-accented "What We Gained in the Fire," through Motown with Phil Spector orchestration-sounding "Numbers Don't Lie," and the deeply soulful "Give It Time." Songs are accented and adorned with horns and strings here and there, lending a pleasantly anachronistic feel to the tracks, but Burhenn's vocals are always the draw. Case in point: "Ways of Looking" may be only a simple melody sung over easy electric guitar strum and minimal percussion, but sung by Burhenn, it is one of the most affecting songs on the album. (www.themynabirds.com)

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