Multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Birnbaum grew up in a family of musicians, playing with blocks under the piano while his older brother practiced Chopin, begging for his parents to spin Paul Simon’s Graceland on the record player one more time before bed. After years exploring jazz and free improvisation on saxophone, he began experimenting with songwriting and home recording, eventually moving to Brooklyn, NY from Boston to pursue music further, joining Ethiopian ensemble Debo Band and playing with artists as diverse as Sharon Van Etten, Dina El Wedidi, Mutual Benefit, Khaira Arby, Katie Von Schleicher, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Will Stratton, & Ancient Ocean.
These collaborations with artists ranging from Egyptian pop to drone to indie rock have created a dense web of connections and references from which Birnbaum wrings his songs, with Bob Dylan and Neil Young standing shoulder to shoulder with Mahmoud Ahmed and Pharaoh Sanders, and lyrics that chase the highs and lows of life in NYC, on the margins of the cool kids club, blazing your own weird path, doubting and despairing but always creating. Along the way, the band has been praised in Spin, Stereogum, Paste, described on NPR as “an indie gem” and on Pitchfork as a “cracked Americana combo.”
Birnbaum’s songs find expression through longtime collaborators Katie Von Schleicher, who releases her own mesmerizing solo work, on keyboards and vocals; Sean Mullins (Kevin Garrett) on drums; and Nick Jost (Baroness) on bass. Their “New Streets” 7″ was released summer 2017 as a part of Saddle Creek’s Document series, and a full length LP, titled Zion, is forthcoming summer 2018 on Northern Spy Records.
No shows booked at the moment.