Record Review - The Mynabirds: What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood

Saddle Creek

The Mynah Birds were a pseudo-mythical mid '60s Toronto R&B band that included Neil Young and Rick James, but never released a record. They are the inspiration for the Mynabirds, the new solo project from singer/songwriter Laura Burhenn, a former member of gloomy indie-pop D.C. duo Georgie James. Embracing folk, soul and classic rock, Flood's production recalls former Jayhawks leader Gary Louris and Arcade Fire. But the songs live and die by Burhenn's vocals, which frequently dominate the horns, pedal steel, piano and organ. That's usually a good thing, particularly on "Let the Record Go," "Numbers Don't Lie" and "We Made a Mountain," a stomping, country-western-inspired heartbreaker worthy of Patsy Cline or Loretta Lynn. It's hard to believe the Mynah Birds sounded like this, but it doesn't matter. Burhenn has forged her own path here, and we don't need to imagine how great it is. 4 out of 5 stars.