The Sound of Renfrewshire: King of Birds
A sibling duo on an upward trajectory, Elderslie’s King Of Birds make a compelling case as they prepare to embark on their next chapter.
Four years after their formation, Elderslie’s sibling folk duo King Of Birds will release their debut album on the 26th September. Ahead of its unveiling at Glasgow’s Stereo, we spoke to Stirling Gorman about influences, a richly musical childhood and wrapping up the recording process on hallowed ground.
Although it may be titled Eve Of Destruction, the release of your debut album is an exciting time. Has this been a long time coming?
Myself and Charlie [Gorman] began writing songs together in late 2015. We solely intended to write for other artists but our publisher suggested we release them ourselves. Those initial songs form the backbone of the album.
Do you and your brother Charlie come from a musical household or was it something that developed organically?
Growing up, the family home was always filled with great music such as The Everly Brothers, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elvis, Willie Nelson and Roy Orbison. Our mother is a beautiful pianist and both our parents have always been big music fans. As we got older, our influences shifted slightly but hearing those classic records was a great foundation.
Your material is a very resonant take on folk that has a certain timelessness to it and harbours welcome hints of Americana. Would you say that you take more from closer to home or stateside?
I’d say we’re influenced by both old American and European music. There’s so much great material to absorb from both sides of the water, so it’s difficult to define the origins of what comes out.
The album was mastered at none other than the revered Abbey Road Studios. How was the experience of working at a location that’s so synonymous with greatness?
Mastering the record at Abbey Road was very special for us. It obviously lives with the incredible legacy from the time of The Beatles and all the other great music produced there but it’s still pushing the technological boundaries. In our opinion, Abbey Road is the greatest studio in the world today.
What can fans expect from your upcoming launch show at Glasgow’s Stereo?
The launch show at Stereo will be our biggest since these songs were written and we’ll be playing with the musicians who recorded the album with us. We’re all working hard to make it a special night.
If you had to pick a favourite track on the record, what would it be?
Probably track four on the album, ‘When We Were Kings’.
For more information on King Of Birds, visit the website. This interview was published in Mill issue 7 September/October 2019.