Saturday, October 24, 2015

“The Birds of Finland” by Conner Youngblood – A Song Review

     Digital or vinyl? In the “good ol’ days” of all vinyl, album covers often identified the instruments that added to each song and the musicians who played the instruments. There are many positives to the digital music age, but it has become more difficult to determine which instruments are being used, partially because information isn’t made available and partially because it is increasingly easy to simulate different instruments using a synthesizer or other device. The Internet should make the information more accessible, but it doesn’t always work that way, unfortunately.
     Conner Youngblood is a multi-instrumentalist in Austin, Texas. Of his songs, we are particularly fond of “The Birds of Finland.” It would be interesting to know the instruments used during the song and how many are played by Conner. Based upon information about his other work, that’s him on the harp. Clearly, it’s Conner with the Bon Iver-type vocals. The rest is unknown, at least to us. But that doesn’t prevent us from enjoying the song.
     “The Birds of Finland” has an extended introduction – about 1:30. During the intro, a wind instrument (an Irish flute?) is the primary instrument, but it’s the harp that is more likely to hold the attention of the listener. For us, the body of the song switches the roles, since the harp probably gets more exposure than the wind instruments, but we find ourselves paying close attention for the horn (trumpet?).

     “The Birds of Finland” by Conner Youngblood


Lyrics of “The Birds of Finland”
Facilitate this fall of August
The autumn winds, the summer forfeits
The bittern’s boom will disavow
All the time we’ve wasted now

Fabricate this borderline
Between the fire and the focus
As the wren churr through the pine
I doubt you will ever notice

And I know I’ve got my stubborn ways
The shovelers soon fly away
While this winter moon will disavow
All the time we’ve wasted now

Formulate and fortify
The spring becomes our alibi
The eider’s plume will disavow
All the time we’ve wasted now

And I know you’ve got your subtle ways
The hooded crow is here to stay
But this idle June will disavow
All the time we’ve wasted now

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