Neighbor Lady have shared a new single “Taking U 4 A Ride.” The single marks the last track the band shares before the July 1 release of their new album, For The Birds. “The song is an expression of being caught up in something and it being dragged out unnecessarily; of being caught up in a ride moving too fast to analyze until you’re finally out of the car.” For The Birds was mixed by Noah Georgeson, whom the band admired for this work with Andy Shauf, Cate Le Bon, Devendra Banhart, and Joanna Newsom—“Albums that kind of have their own little universes,” says guitarist Jack Blauvelt. “And that’s how we tried to treat this one, with all the tiny magical noises in between things.”
Though Neighbor Lady began life as Braden’s solo project, the band is now a quartet consisting of Braden, Blauvelt, drummer Andrew McFarland, and bassist Payton Collier. Braden still writes all the songs, but the band agrees that For The Birds is a record that could only have been made by the four of them together. “Even after I came in, this idea of the band being this really tight knit group was pretty immediate—just the respect between everybody in the band, and the willingness of everybody to to hear anybody out on a part or an idea that pertains nothing to your personal instrument. It’s so collaborative and that was like from day one,” says Collier, who is the newest member of the group.
Neighbor Lady finished recording basic tracks with Jason Kingsland (Band of Horses, Belle & Sebastian) at Diamond Street Studios in Atlanta right before lockdown, and spent quarantine tinkering with the arrangements and the tracklisting, sending emails back and forth to nail down the pacing and figure out what kind of emotional story they wanted to tell. They also ended up re-recording many of the songs, creating multiple iterations in order to drill down to their true essence. “Being able to spend the time and have that intention behind it, and really being able to trust our own ears and feelings about it was a really cool exercise, a big growing exercise for the band,” says McFarland.
This is both the heart and foundation of For The Birds, where every song is infused with the rare magic created by a group of musicians who are just as happy on a festival stage as they are at a last-minute house show as they are in the studio, relying on each other’s talents and ideas to transform the music they make into something beyond what they could achieve on their own. Though For The Birds is hallmarked by big sonic flourishes and brave moments of experimentation, the overall feeling is still intimate and personal—four people in a room, making music together; fitting for a group of musicians who say they feel less like a band and more like a family. “This record came out of a lot of love and hard work and us caring so much about the music and each other,” says Braden. “And that’s pretty much what we’re about.”
For The Birds
For The Birds
Penny Pick It Up
Feel It All The Time
Taking U 4 A Ride
I’m With You
Too Far Gone
Pre-order For the Birds by Neighbor Lady HERE