Birds of Play’s Murmurs Vol. 2 outings today


For a group named game birds, it’s no surprise that avian references abound in their work. Hence the title of their new album, Whispers Vol. 2releasing February 25 as a follow-up to their September 2021 album, Whispers Vol. 1. The band will celebrate the release date with a local performance at the Sheridan Opera House, 110 N. Oak St. in Telluride. Show time is at 9 p.m. Reserved balcony tickets are $30; general admission floor tickets are $20 (plus a $5 box office fee for each).

Murmuration describes a phenomenon in which flocks of starlings take flight simultaneously, dipping and soaring in unison like a shape-shifting cloud. You could say Birds of Play does the same, weaving their voices and instruments into a single entity that forms unique patterns with each song.

These patterns continue Whispers Vol. 2who captures Whispers Vol. 1exploring the natural world and how humans connect to it.

When the band launched a Kickstarter campaign for the new album, singer and songwriter Alex Paul explained their inspiration, noting, “The earth was instrumental in how I came to write and share. my musicality. It’s very much related to love – the love of the land and the 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 competition solo at the 2018 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, as well as a grant from the Telluride Arts District to record an album. They released Anthrophony in 2019.

The trio became a quartet after meeting classically trained violinist and singer Anneke Dean in 2020. Sharing a love of the great outdoors, they created Murmurations Vol. 1 as a concept album expressing their “deep reverence for these beautiful places, and the awe, awe, and wonder that emanates from that reverence”.

When American Songwriter magazine premiered Vol. 1 track “Gale and Doug”, he noted the “special, earthy feeling” of the song, adding, “the exposed musicality is what really makes the track something extraordinary”.

This musicality seamlessly migrates to Whispers Vol. 2. Each of the album’s eight songs is filled with intricately woven acoustic arrangements and tight harmonies that dip and soar together, just like these starlings.

Birds of Play will perform its Murmurations at multiple venues across Colorado and is set to perform as part of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Telluride Band Contest. The festival takes place from June 16 to 19.


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