Birds of Chicago are a husband and wife duo comprising Chicago's JT Nero and Allison Russell from Vancouver. The couple have been flying together as a musical item since late 2012.
Their traditional brand of bluesy Americana is partially defined by the raspy vocals of Nero who also writes the bulk of the songs. However, it is rich emotional vocals of Russell that gives the record its heart and soul.
A sizable cast of backing musicians fleshes out the acoustic roots of their sound significantly. Co-produced with Luther Dickinson, their music evokes the spirit of the 60’s and 70’s, with loving awareness being the running theme. This is an act of defiance towards the prevailing mood of the nation since it was, in their own words, recorded against a backdrop of political division and dread", a reference to the toxic atmosphere in the U.S. brought on by Trump's election.
"Any act of love is an act of bravery," says Russell. “We want to give people some good news. And we want them to be able to dance when they hear it." Given that most tracks are laid back, soulful refrains, any dancing would mostly entail swaying to the sweet melodies rather than boogying hard.
Standout songs are the title track, Lodestar, Baton Rouge and Superlover but all eleven tunes blend together seamlessly to produce a satisfying and harmonious whole.
Birds Of Chicago's website