Last Birds - Endless Turn of Day Into Night
  • Last Birds - Give It To Me
  • Last Birds - Yellow Roses
  • Last Birds - Back of My Mind
  • Last Birds - Endless Turn of Day Into Night
  • Last Birds - Sounds Like Heaven
  • Last Birds - After Dark
  • Last Birds - One More
  • Last Birds - Rise Again
  • Last Birds - Tom Luck
  • Last Birds - Lucky Star

I only make this comparison about once a year, so understand that it’s rare… but this folk duo Last Birds reminds me of the Civil Wars. There’s an intimacy in the recording and an expressiveness in the acoustic guitar that works really well. In fact, they’re kind of a combination of the Civil Wars and a lot of the haunting chord work that makes the Milk Carton Kids so popular. This is an incredible band with an intriguing, intimate recording style. Lean in and listen close on this one; you will not be disappointed. PS – I’m pretty sure what they’re talking about here is “hopes and dreams” or maybe the box of crackerjacks while they watch Netflix together? If anyone else knows what “it” is… you know… leave a comment. - Greg Jones for Ear to the Ground Music 8/23/2023

Using their tiny prairie hometown of North Portal in southeast Saskatchewan as a backdrop, Last Birds Mike Davis and Lindsay Arnold have woven together rural legends and current experiences to form a modern prairie gothic entitled Endless Turn of Day Into Night. Keeping instrumentation minimal, the album highlights the couple's two voices, two guitars approach reminiscent of early country music. Davis' carefully crafted guitar solos and the duo's close harmonies counterbalance the simplicity of the songs. The lyrics trace the experiences of family members and friends, as well as the artists themselves, without shying away from difficult subject matter.

Unlike contemporary commercial country music, Last Birds veer away from overly romanticized views of small town life to peer into the dark corners of the local bar, peek into the windows of an abandoned house down the street and pine for something or someone beyond the veil. Davis says, “We wrote the songs like musical snapshots of where we live by combining stories we've heard around the kitchen table with our own experiences of living in a small town. We know each other's secrets.”

Arnold's grandmother who never learned to drive a car inspired the title track. She was stuck in a small town with six kids and a husband who was a regular at the local bar. Arnold imagines her grandmother so bored and tired she could be tempted to skip town with a handsome stranger. As far as the duo knows, the song is fictional. “Sounds Like Heaven” is Last Birds' nod to gospel music and its influence on folk artists. The couple forgoes religious beliefs about the afterlife in favour of finding eternal rest at home on the prairies. “Back of My Mind” shares the regret of failing to help someone suffering from mental illness. A North Portal area farmer recently took his own life which has left the duo's community wondering if his death could have been prevented.

The narratives spill out into the album art, which Arnold created. “I treated the album cover like a graphic novel, sharing hints about the songs on the album through little scenes. They are devoid of people, yet we know someone has been there.”

Davis and Arnold formed Last Birds in November of 2019 and quickly gained momentum. The duo was nominated for multiple awards in 2021 and 2022, including Saskatchewan Music Award's Roots/Folk Artist of the Year as well as Saskatchewan Country Music Association’s Group and Alternative Country Album of the Year. Their self-titled debut EP, released in April 2021, was well received in the USA and Canada. Before Last Birds, the couple formed a trio, Hook and Nail, with Jeff Michel, the sound engineer for Endless Turn of Day Into Night. Their album, Ghosts of Taylorton, earned a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination in 2019.

All Songs Written by: Lindsay Arnold & Mike Davis, Self-published, SOCAN
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  • Profile Last Updated:
    12/26/23 10:37:05

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