Summon the Birds

Summon The BirdsSummon the Birds flash out the shadows of the sky, spinning tales of fallen kings, dissected criminals, Arctic exploration, cloud riding and London rain. The canvas weaving these disparate threads together is the ornate musical setting in which the song-stories become an unflinching and expanding whole. Imagine latter-day Talk Talk picking the locks to Spoon’s basement as The Drones circle, restless, looking for the pink pill…

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Discography

 

Funeral for a King(Single)


September 2017

‘Funeral for a King’ is the new single by Melbourne band Summon the Birds, taken from their forthcoming second album, Blood Love, recorded by Tim Johnston (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Dandy Warhols, The Drones).

Like Zaphod Beeblebrox animated by Edgar Allan Poe, Summon the Birds have drunk the London tap water and are now poised for flight. Their second album Blood Love will see release on Hidden Shoal in late 2017 – imagine latter-day Talk Talk picking the locks to Spoon’s basement as The Drones circle, restless, looking for the pink pill…

 

London Tap Water(Single)


August 2017

‘London Tap Water’ is the first single taken from Summon the Birds’ forthcoming second album, Blood Love, recorded by Tim Johnston (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Dandy Warhols, The Drones).

Like Zaphod Beeblebrox animated by Edgar Allan Poe, Summon the Birds have drunk the London tap water, sent it along the spice roads of sound (Tim Johnston/John Ruberto) and are now poised for live flight. The five-piece live incarnation – including the most perfect organ sound heard since the Fall of Pompeii – are launching ‘London Tap Water’ at Melbourne venue the Yarra Hotel Abbotsford on Friday 11th August.

Digger (Single)


August 2013

It’s the picture of the diggers by the foot of the Sphinx in Egypt in 1915 that gives the clue: the digger, once so low a foot soldier in the allied camps, now a rallying cry of national pride. This standalone track, originally intended for inclusion on second album Blood Love, reimagines the guttural slang and plays fast with the disparate meanings. Alternately dismissive and yearning, it’s a brutal, folk-operatic cry for legitimacy and love. Recorded in the mud heaps of Park Orchards, with western spaghetti on the stove top and analogue gear in a heap, ‘Digger’ is the last Summon the Birds track featuring the late, great Peter Woodlands on bass, mixing console and backing vocals.

48


November 2012

The hexagram for the number 48 is The Well – the site of the town may change, but the well stays the same. The album 48 was caught on tape at Head Gap studios in 2007 by Brent Punshon during a meticulous five-day session, spearheaded by the late Peter Woodlands. The overdubbing and mixing process took place over the next five years, interrupted by volcanoes, divorce, recast hexagrams and band reshuffles. 48 was launched in 2012 almost exactly seven years after it began in blood, in a runic ceremony in Warrandyte.

Biography

Summon the Birds began in 2007, when singer-songwriter Jonathan Shaw and bassist/producer Peter Woodlands kicked up an idea for a record called 48, based on the iChing. Kris Arrowsmith joined on drums, with guitarist Tim Clarke seduced into the fray after the dissolution of instrumental shoegaze band Bury the Sound. 48 saw release in 2012, launched alongside Melbourne space-rock compatriots All India Radio, closely followed by single ‘Digger’ in 2013.

The seeds of second album Blood Love were sown back in 2009, with song sketches dreamt up by Shaw massaged into shape in the band’s Hurstbridge rehearsal room. These new songs had a lyrical intensity that lent itself to a more dynamic musical setting, inspired by Clarke’s measured guitar playing, tracing itself like gold wire over the regal patter of Arrowsmith’s drums and Woodlands’ bass runs. Labyrinthine pieces like ‘The Anatomy Lesson’ – based on the famous painting by Rembrandt – nine-minute opus ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ and instrumental tracks ‘Tactile Hallucination’ and ‘Cloud Cars’ began to realise the reach of the band’s ambition.

In 2014, bassist Drew Corby replaced original member Peter Woodlands, and the recording of Blood Love began in earnest, bolstered by Paul Spurling on keyboards, Marlene Samson on backing vocals, and Adrian Perger on horns. Producer and engineer Tim Johnston (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Dandy Warhols, The Drones) oversaw the sessions and lent his golden ears to the mixes, and the album was mastered by John Ruberto (Courtney Barnett, The Drones, Electric Mary).

Blood Love is dedicated to the late Peter Woodlands, who died far too soon, but whose song rings on in the vault of the endless sky.

News

  • New Summon the Birds Single – ‘Funeral for a King’

    Funeral for a KingHidden Shoal is proud to announce the release of new single ‘Funeral for a King’ by Melbourne band Summon the Birds, taken from their forthcoming second album, Blood Love, recorded by Tim Johnston (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Dandy Warhols, The Drones). Stream the song via SoundCloud and Spotify and download via Bandcamp.

    Like Zaphod Beeblebrox animated by Edgar Allan Poe, Summon the Birds have drunk the London tap water and are now poised for flight. Their second album Blood Love will see release on Hidden Shoal in late 2017 – imagine latter-day Talk Talk picking the locks to Spoon’s basement as The Drones circle, restless, looking for the pink pill…

    Summon the Birds launch ‘Funeral for a King’ Thursday 21st September at Open Studio in Northcote, so if you’re in Melbourne, check out the details on FB and be sure to head down.

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  • Summon the Birds Single Premiere on The Big Takeover

    Summon The Birds‘Funeral for a King’, the new single by Summon the Birds, taken from their forthcoming second album Blood Love, has just been premiered on the ever-excellent music site The Big Takeover. Head over to TBT to listen to the track. The song is available on all digital channels for streaming and download on Monday 18th September, and the band play a launch gig next Thursday 21st September at Open Studio in Northcote, so if you’re in Melbourne, check out the details on FB and be sure to head down.

     

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  • Brilliant New Summon the Birds Single!

    London Tap WaterHidden Shoal is excited to announce the release of new single ‘London Tap Water’ by Melbourne band Summon the Birds, taken from their forthcoming second album, Blood Love, recorded by Tim Johnston (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Dandy Warhols, The Drones).

    Like Zaphod Beeblebrox animated by Edgar Allan Poe, Summon the Birds have drunk the London tap water and are now poised for flight. Their second album Blood Love will see release on Hidden Shoal in late 2017 – imagine latter-day Talk Talk picking the locks to Spoon’s basement as The Drones circle, restless, looking for the pink pill…

    Stream the track at SoundCloud or download via Bandcamp.

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  • Summon the Birds Sign to Hidden Shoal

    Summon The BirdsHidden Shoal is proud to announce the signing of Melbourne band Summon the Birds. Summon the Birds flash out the shadows of the sky, spinning tales of fallen kings, dissected criminals, Arctic exploration, cloud riding and London rain. Imagine latter-day Talk Talk picking the locks to Spoon’s basement as The Drones circle, restless, looking for the pink pill…

    Singer-songwriter Jonathan Shaw and bassist/producer Peter Woodlands began the band in 2007, with Kris Arrowsmith joining on drums, and guitarist Tim Clarke seduced into the fray after the dissolution of instrumental shoegaze band Bury the Sound. Their debut album 48, based on the I Ching, saw release in 2012, closely followed by single ‘Digger’ in 2013. The seeds of second album Blood Love were sown back in 2009, with song sketches dreamt up by Shaw massaged into shape in the band’s Hurstbridge rehearsal room. In 2014, bassist Drew Corby replaced Peter Woodlands, and the recording of Blood Love began in earnest.

    Summon the Birds’ second album Blood Love will see release late 2017, preceded by single ‘London Tap Water’ on 7th August. The album was recorded by producer and engineer Tim Johnston (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Dandy Warhols, The Drones). Read more about Summon the Birds here.

     

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Reviews

  • Summon the Birds ‘London Tap Water’ Reviewed at [sic] Magazine

    “Hidden Shoal recordings from Perth, Australia are exactly what they say on the tin. Namely an ‘out of sight’ treasure trove of diverse, eclectic music. They’ve released products from the likes of Hotels, Arc Lab, Slow Dancing Society and My Majestic Star. I have enjoyed working with them for years and long may it continue as far as I am concerned.

    In Summon The Birds, the Perth imprint has a fine exponent of Brit-infused prog rock. ‘London Tap Water’ is the forerunner to the bands second album Blood Love and Radiohead are a clear marker here. One can easily imagine ‘London Tap Water’ adjacent to something like ‘Exit Music (for a film)’ from the Oxford bands landmark OK Computer phase. Yet Summon The Birds are not mere wannabes. They create their own rich universe with narrative character and personality in abundance. Front man Jonathan Shaw (see solo album) is at the heart of this with his Anthony Newley inflections (for those of you not of the same vintage, Newley is how we used to describe early Bowie) Any given Summon The Birds song becomes more tale than track. Shaw intones his eccentric fables while the band provides the ‘fireside’.

    As ‘London Tap Water’ climaxes into peals of Gilmour -esque guitars we are also reminded of the great Pink Floyd. And though the Floyd had many notable singers they never, at least to my knowledge, had Damon Albarn and Brett Anderson combined, channeling John Lydon on a ballsy version of ‘Roll Out The Barrel’.

    From the sunny side of the world to the Dark Side Of The Moon via…. the East End. It may only be tap water but its Lundon, innit!”

    - [sic] Magazine

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Lyrics

No lyrics list as yet.

Artist Photos

 

 

Music Videos

 

Licensing

Summon The Birds’ music is  available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.

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