Mynabirds mine the politics of pop music
In the long slog of an election year, it's beyond tempting to shy away from politics altogether. For the Mynabirds' Laura Burhenn, it was the perfect time to put out her most politically charged album to date.
Burhenn's sophomore release, "Generals," gives voice to the frustrations of the current era, and gets her point across with a soulful, stomping set of impeccably sourced pop.
amNY spoke with Burhenn.
"Generals" is a marked shift from your debut. How are the two connected? I try to be as honest as I can with my voice, and that shines through in both the records. The last record was very much about healing and loss. This record is about anger and frustration, and channeling that energy into something positive.
You're no stranger to serious topics in a pop context, but why record a protest album now? I've had some political angst and activism in my blood for my entire life. Some of the lyrics in this album date back to just after 9/11. They've always been songs I wanted to do something with, but it wasn't the time or the place. So, coming up on the 10 year anniversary of Sept. 11, [I was] thinking about a lot of political and social frustrations that I still have. All of that said, though, I didn't want to be the self-righteous b---- marching down the street screaming my head off. I wanted the record to feel and sound fun.
Do you think that makes the message easier to absorb? I think there is a tradition of socially conscious pop songwriting. In high school I fell in love with PJ Harvey, and she wrote these . . . really great, rough, almost punk songs, but if you actually get into them, there's a lot of feminist protesting happening. You can enjoy the song without being hit over the head with it.