Thank you to Amelia Vandergast, whose review of “Elevation” on the A&R Factory blog describes the track as an “alchemic attack on ignorance and bigotry….leaving you with the sense that you’ve just stumbled across the artist we never knew we needed“.  As I write, The Specials’ album Encore is #1 in the UK charts, and Brandi Carlile is up for six Grammys.  It’s good to know that music with a socio-political core and conscience is alive and kicking in these troubling times, and that by picking up our instruments and raising our voices we can be a small part of the movement to speak truth to power.

 

A nicely positive review from Gareth Thompson in the January/February 2019 edition of RnR Magazine , which doesn’t tend to review independent releases.  “More a creative than commercial act“?  We’ll take that anytime, thank you very much!  But, credit where credit is due: the “two others” are the equally indispensable Thure Gade Johansen (co-songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire) and Styx (bearded meister of beats).

Enormous thanks to the prolific and talented Neil March, whose song-by-song review in his Trust-the-Doc blog calls Endurancea masterpiece of musical invention and cleverly crafted Pop of an intelligent, calm and yet emotionally affecting kind. Evidence beyond all reasonable doubt that Project Blackbird are a band the world needs to know about.”

We were blown away to find out that “Elevation” made Fresh On the Net’s “Fresh Faves” last weekend: a batch of great songs, whittled down from approximately 200 to 25 by selected moderators, and then from 25 to 10 by listeners’ votes.  The quality of this group is, if we do say so ourselves, exceptional.  We were honoured to be selected.  You can find Fresh Faves 296 here, where you can listen to all the songs and read a review of each track by Chris Ingram; and you can also read what some voters had to say on the Listening Post.

The intro to Project Blackbird’s Elevation kicks off with a lonely lamenting trumpet and is then infused with kicking drums. There is a then a chunky wedge of synths (reminiscent of Elbow’s opening to Grounds for Divorce) allowing us to slip and slide into this modern protest song. ‘Rise we will, Rise, we will rise’, ‘You will never forget that moment, that morning when you mistook the buds of magnolias for hundreds of sleeping doves about to take flight’. Yet again I am pleased with some delightfully powerful and evocative imagery at play in this band’s songwriting. You can be sure with absolute clarity you can listen as I did with my eyes closed and you are transposed into the image completely.

“Add a dash of funky guitar, a slice of acidic politics and an ambition to raise perception and awareness and you may be closing in on the band’s recipe for success. If the rest of their debut album is anywhere near as good it’ll be a banger, and I don’t mean any old butchers snag. Oh no, I mean a handcrafted beast, served on the best mash, with the richest jus and a side of mustard so strong your nostrils flare with pleasure as your ears pop and your mind twists with pleasure at a tune so lovingly crafted.” (Chris Ingram, 24.09.18)

Special thanks to Uwe “Balou” Bartsch, a.k.a. The Starved Peasant, for his unwavering support, and a review that radiates love and appreciation.