Naming your first release after your band is an auspicious way to introduce oneself, to say the least, but Birds & Souls have done just that—and the results more than live up to their sensational packaging.
Birds & Souls’ debut single ‘Birds & Souls’ is an exuberant track built more for rock shows than dancefloors, charting a journey from giddy, congas-and-claves house to synth-drenched space disco to ecstatic arpeggiated bliss and back again. At ‘Birds & Souls’ apex, Birds & Souls member Sergio Giorgini intones “My soul, it weighs a thousand pounds / touch the mountain, touch the ground”—at that moment, the duo seem everywhere at once, their feet stomping out a primal 4-on-the-floor, their heads soaring through the clouds.
B-side ‘Birds & Souls (Birds & Beats Version)’ indulges the track’s cosmic side, emphasizing repetition, atmosphere, and chanting backing vocals; while ‘Birds & Souls (Runaway’s Mountain & Ground Remix)’ sees the Brooklyn-based DJ/producers and DFA alumni drag ‘Birds & Souls’ into the dank, half-lit gloom of a sweaty basement party, all room-consuming bass and dirty, groaning keyboard stabs.
While most folks predicted that Ryan and Sergio would one day “hook up,” many were nonetheless surprised by their lovechild, Birds & Souls, which bore surprisingly little sonic resemblance to either parent.
Ryan Crosson, currently of Berlin but with connections to Detroit, was known as a talented young producer who tended toward dark, minimal rhythmic explorations; Sergio Giorgini, a somewhat dedicated schoolteacher, was known, if at all, for his inclination towards mellow Caribbean sounds and angular, lo-fi ‘90s indie rock. Yet Birds & Souls are neither lo-fi nor indie, dark nor minimal. If anything, Birds & Souls fantasize less about the dancefloor than the rock show, with its gigantic sing-along choruses and tawdry fans tossing their nether-garments, beer bottles, and dignity onto the tattered stage.
And while it’s true that Birds & Souls’ debut single ‘Birds & Souls’ marches to a bigger, louder drummer than most, there is, of course, plenty of dance magic to go around. Like a spiritual seeker in the Himalayas, Birds & Souls’ eponymous single quests ever upward until it reaches enlightenment at a transcendent arpeggiated climax.