After fronting their own bands in recent years and collaborating together on various projects -- what they call a "big, loving, only mildly-dysfunctional circus family of music" -- JT Nero and Allison Russell decided to make a formal union via new duo Birds of Chicago. Their self-titled, fun-funded debut, due this fall, is a warm stew of rootsy folk and soul, gospel, rustic hill music and Americana. While the feel is traditional the attitude is decidedly modern and adventurous. "It's hard for me to describe, but our musical friendship has grown," observes Russell. "We're creating a friendly new sound from the sum of all the parts. I have a real love of classic duet singing. And we definitely pay homage to some of that in what we do." For starters, check out the frisky "Trampoline", a song that gradually builds into a tambourine-shakin' folk rave-up and the lovely waltzing "Galaxy Ballroom". Now -- doesn't that feel better?
Birds of Chicago - "Trampoline" (from Birds of Chicago)
Birds of Chicago - "Galaxy Ballroom" (from Birds of Chicago)