Canadian alt-folk four-piece ‘Birds of Bellwoods’ are known for lush harmonies, engaging melodies and haunting lyricism, and we had a chance to talk to them!
We have to confess… we’re absolutely loving your latest single ‘A Year Ago’, what is it about?
It’s about the fleeting nature of life and youth and realizing you’ve grown up since the last time you checked. We found ourselves touring the west coast of Canada in September of 2016, following a similar tour in 2015. While we were out there we called up a friend of Stevie’s whom we had met up with the previous year. We found out that he was getting married and expecting a baby. This was a guy who taught us the meaning of the word wild, and only a year before. While Stevie was on the phone with him he laughed and said “Well, that’s all it takes I guess.” And of course we’re very happy for him, but it was just a moment of reflection, “Woah. People our age are making people now.”
How have you found the reaction to ‘A Year Ago’?
As this is our first single off the album it’s just the start of the wave, so we have been pretty pleased with the response. Spotify Canada has shown us a lot of love, we’ve found our way onto the Indie All-Stars playlist, and the Viral Hits Canada playlist which has connected us to a lot of listeners. Our favourite thing is when we show up in a place and play a show and people already know our lyrics, and we’ve been getting a lot of that lately.
We would love for you guys to come over to the UK, do you guys have any plans for it?
Our plan is to have an audience waiting for us when we arrive, so anything you and your readers can do to spread the word is much appreciated! Obviously, we want to break into the UK; among other things we’ve heard that Europe is very accommodating for touring artists. We really believe in our music and we want as many people around the world to be a part of it with us!
If you could describe your live shows in 5 words what would they be? GO!
Fire, Blood, Sweat, Hot Fire
If you had to choose one song of yours that is your absolute favourite to perform, which one would it be and why?
As you might imagine that changes constantly; right now we really like our song, “Catching Up,” which is actually the next single we’re dropping, and you can expect it to be available in early August. It has a special place in our hearts because it sort of functions as a bridge between our older folk-sound and our newer somewhat electrified sound. We can’t really tell you much more than that, you’ll just have to stay tuned!
What can we expect from Birds of Bellwoods next? Any new material appearances?
Well as we said we’re dropping Catching Up next, and then another single before the full album release in the fall. We also have a few music videos in the works that you can expect in the coming months. We’re working with a wonderful team of collaborators and we’re super stoked to show everyone what we’ve been building.
Who are your main musical influences? Do you have any guilty pleasures?
We all come from fairly different backgrounds so our musical interests are wide and varied. If you listen to our first EP, The Fifth, you can probably point to Mumford and Sons as an inspiration, but we also all grew up on The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Crosby Stills and Nash, The Band, among others. We really like a Canadian band called Half Moon Run who are killing it right now. As for guilty pleasures, some of the band are deep in a late 70s/early 80s soft rock phase right now; Hall & Oates, Steely Dan, etc.; although they would likely dispute the “guilty” part. We also take a lot of pride in being influenced by the community around us so we’ve got to show some love for our hometown friends Common Deer, Ralph, Scott Helman, River Tiber, and Midnight Vesta, among others.
How was the creative process for the songs? Was it hard deciding what tracks would make it?
That’s a good question…we’re all strong-minded individuals so naturally there’s a lot of spirited discussion about how we want it all to sound. After we spent a long time with the tracks in the studio and on stage, the decisions became clear pretty fast; we all kind of knew what we wanted. The songs exist in the space between all of us. Different songs grow from different roots, but we all work together to help them grow. Stevie is our main lyricist but it all gets filtered through the entire band until we have come to the strongest option. Coming from different musical backgrounds means that there’s never a shortage of musical ideas to throw into the mix, but we had an idea of what we wanted in the end, and which way the artistic winds were blowing.
What can we expect from Birds of Bellwoods next? (Shows in the UK please!)
We’re dropping two more singles this summer before we release our first full-length album Victoria in the fall, after which we are officially off on a tour of Canada. No dates set in stone for the UK yet but we know our music is meant for a wide audience, and that definitely includes everyone across the pond. We very much want to take over the world.
Listen to ‘A Year Ago’ now: