Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Bird Calls

One of the perks of scouting for, and listening to new Chrismtas music is that you get introduced to bands and artists you'd never heard before. Take The Bird Calls, the moniker of singer-songwriter (and music writer) Sam Sodomsky. His Bandcamp page shows no less than 32 releases, mostly albums. And that's not all, because Sam also releases music als Friendless Bummer. In just 10 years! This boy really has an urge.
The Bird Calls brings lo-fi songs, just Sam and his guitar (sometimes a piano). His voice resembles that of Conor Oberst, in a more relaxed state of being. Sam writes lots of storytelling songs about cowboys, songs about songwriting (listen to 'I Wish I Had a Drum Set'), relationships, observations and memories.
As far as I can tell, he only wrote one Christmas themed song earlier:

But now, there's an EP. Seven songs, all originals. If you're into Thom Stone, Beau Jennings and the more folksy John Patrick Elliott, you have found your next absolutely fantastic, Bandcamp-only Christmas album. Take a listen to this very tender father-and-son song:

This is either a very dear memory or (more probable, but Sam correct me if I'm wrong) a great made-up story turned into a diamond of a song. And do I hear some slight string synths in the background?

Sams slighty unstable voice fits his emotional songs, and also adds to his more tragi-comic scenes. I mean, take 'Apocalypsmas' (great play of words), with lyrics like 'from a distance the sleigh bells sound like four horsemen/it's apocalypsmas, friends', you can NOT be dead serious, right? Same goes for 'Have a Seat on the Old Man's Lap,' a story about the hell of playing Santa in a mall ('close enough to the food court halls/that i can smell the arteries clog'), then signing off on Christmas eve in dive bar and meeting some lady whose kid sat on Santa's lap before, and now she's getting whatever Santa has in his sack. It's not laugh-out-loud-comedy, thanks to Sam's voice, but it brings a wry smile to your face:

There's more. 'December Man', also a great short story. There's 'Icicles', just a damn fine song about, well, icicles. Find out yourself. Throw out the comfy couch, curl up on a concrete floor, light one candle and have Bird Calls guide you through the night.