I remember vividly the first time I saw and heard Dead Birds. I was very familiar with Erica’s music through Families and her contributions to Qajaq, but there I was sitting on the couch at House Fitzgerald in early 2018 at one of their many house shows featuring Chroma artists, watching a combo Qajaq/Dead Birds set. Erica took the lead and calmly carried the whole room into a new space. Though I had never heard these songs before, I was singing along before I knew the words (which I most certainly guessed at, and incorrectly so).
This Erica that I’m referring to is Erica Johnson of Chicago who began finding dead birds as she walked along the sidewalks. She photographed them and they eventually became the namesake of her new solo music project. Erica blends the simplicity of folk music with wanderlust that comes from traveling across the country. Whether fingerpicking a delicate acoustic guitar melody, strumming an electric guitar, or claw-hammering a banjo, her music evokes a feeling of nostalgia and invites the listener to take part in the story. These are songs that stem from people and places that have left their mark, songs of loss and hope.
Dead Birds’ upcoming release Here We Are (expected in September) is a memento of relationships and a social commentary. Driven by hope but willing to wrestle with doubt, this collection of songs invites both to the table.
In the meantime, be sure to check out this live session that Dead Birds recorded here. And check out these upcoming tour dates. More info will be available on the Dead Birds Facebook page or Chroma page as details develop.
- 9/2/2018 Louisville, KY - Surface Noise
- 9/3/2018 Lexington, KY - Cosmic Charlie's
- 9/4/2018 Huntington, WV - Ft. Nothing House Show
- 9/5/2018 Columbus, OH - Hotel Show
- 9/6/2018 Cleveland, OH - House Show
- 9/8/2018 Pittsburgh, PA - The Cove
- 9/9/2018 Lancaster, PA - EastSide Market
- 9/10/2018 Lock Haven, PA - Avenue 209 Coffee
- 9/12/2018 Allentown, PA - House Show
- 9/14/2018 Roanoke, VA - Leftovers
- 9/15/2018 Carrboro, NC - Open Eye Cafe
- 9/18/2018 Chattanooga, TN - House Show
- 10/8/2018 Anderson, IN - The Nest
- 10/9/2018 South Bend, IN - The Well