San Francisco's Birds & Batteries have developed a devout following and national buzz for their critically acclaimed album I'll Never Sleep Again and their engaging live show.
Sharpening simple songs with intricate arrangements, Birds & Batteries have found a way to genre-hop between dance-rock, country ballads and electronic music in a way that feels natural and easy. With influences ranging from Neil Young to Daft Punk, the band uses synths, sequences and pedal steel to expand upon the basic rock outfit of bass, drums and guitar.
When asked to explain the stylistic diversity on both the record and the live show, lead singer Mike Sempert says "The song itself is what informs everything with in the arrangement. So those stylistic turns on the album are merely there to serve the song the best way we can."
Birds & Batteries' live show focuses on the more energetic and rocking parts of their repertoire. "As we've toured and played more and more shows, we've found ourselves choosing set lists from the material that is most fun to play live and that gets people moving. But sometimes interrupting a party with a sad twangy song is satisfying in a kind of subversive way." And when that sad song becomes dance music, then you know you're at a Birds & Batteries show.
Sempert's haunting vocals have been compared to The Band's Richard Manuel or Rick Danko. Through extensive touring and a very strong showing on the CMJ charts, Birds & Batteries is establishing themselves as one of the most unique and original new bands around. B&B is currently working on a third album, which should be available by spring 09. In the meantime, you can catch them live in a city near you.