Lord help me, I cannot stop listening to the magnificent new Mynabirds album, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood. It's the sort of slow-burning, gospel-torchsong soul that hasn't been done right since the days of Dusty Springfield. And oh, is it done right here. The Mynabirds is primarily the work of Laura Burhenn—formerly one-half of the late Georgie James—and she's assembled a stunning collection of pop that would sound good on AM radio in the car, or a casual dinner with friends, or a late-night hang with someone special, or all by yourself on a blustery rainy afternoon like today.

Burhenn camped to Cottage Grove, Oregon (it's near Eugene), to record What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood at the studio of musician/producer Richard Swift (where Damien Jurado recorded his latest). Burhenn and Swift reportedly laid down nearly all the tracks themselves, which, when you hear the stunning arrangements and orchestrations, is positively mind-boggling. But those Oregon woods can have some magic to 'em, and actually at least one article wrongly claims that Burhenn even lives in Portland. She doesn't. She's based in Omaha currently (home of her label Saddle Creek), and is about to embark on a tour in support of the record. No Portland date, yet, however. Which is a damn shame.

(Burhenn—please come back to Oregon! And play a show in Portland. We can't wait to have you.)


The Mynabirds: "Numbers Don't Lie"