Blood Love Cover ArtHidden Shoal is excited to present the release of ‘Blood Love’ by Summon the Birds, the Melbourne band’s swansong, alongside remixes by labelmates Markus Mehr and Erik Nilsson. The track is available to stream and download on Spotify, Bandcamp and all good online stores. The single is accompanied by a beautiful animated lyric video, available to stream on YouTube. The music of Summon the Birds is available for licensing through Hidden Shoal.

There’s Blood Love, the album, released back in 2018; and then there’s ‘Blood Love’, the song, which gave the album its name but never etched its way onto the grooves. The story’s thread appeared to Jonathan Shaw in Melbourne, but its indelible riff snuck into Shaw’s acoustic guitar on a bus ride in London. From there the song’s universe took shape: the cabin, the woods, the still-born babe in the warm-blanket, the full moon-whipped shadows, the water. Recorded in 2019 by Tim Johnston, ‘Blood Love’ is all about grief, and is a fitting way to send off a band perpetually returning to the theme of letting go.

Befitting the majesty of Shaw’s vocal presence on the song, both remixes of ‘Blood Love’ place the voice front and centre. Markus Mehr situates Shaw’s vocal within a desolate, metallic, digitally warped space, amplifying the sense of isolation until it cracks. In contrast, Erik Nilsson surrounds Shaw’s vocal with fresh, rich, instrumental details, reimagining the song’s farewell as more romantic and melodramatic.

“a slightly woozy, somewhat proggy, little bit folky sound… They’re not afraid to give a song room to breathe, to let the lyrics tell a story, to create an epic sound… worth checking out” – Half-Life Music

“a fine exponent of Brit-infused prog rock… Radiohead are a clear marker here… They create their own rich universe with narrative character and personality in abundance” – [sic] Magazine on single ‘London Tap Water’

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, closely followed by single ‘Digger’ in 2013. In 2014, bassist Drew Corby replaced original member Peter Woodlands, and the recording of second album Blood Love began, 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).