Music From a Birdcage is the solo project of veteran Bay Area musician Matt Deems, who has contributed to a number of musical endeavors over the years, most notably as a guitarist and songwriter for the respected San Francisco post-rock group Form and Fate.
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Written and recorded using only an iPad, a $30 iRig interface, and a guitar, Music From A Birdcage represents Deems first solo undertaking, with the eight-track From My Trench to Yours finding the artist distilling his musical ispirations to their more essential components. The album lands somewhere along the spectrum between instrumental indie rock and electronic-infused post-rock, as it fuses the DNA of Deems' many musical influences—Mogwai, Russian Circles, Tristeza, Tortoise, Explosions in the Sky, Three Mile Pilot, and Pinback among them—with the penchant for full-bodied riffs and cascading guitar patterns he's shown in his previous projects. - December 11, 2018
After releasing his first outing as a solo artist (From My Trench to Yours) last year, Matt Deems—formerly of San Francisco post-rock group Form and Fate—is set to return to his Music from a Birdcage project with a series of concise, focused releases arriving over the next three months.
Full-bodied riffs serve as the bedrock of his music, atop which Deems layers hints of electronic percussion, intermittent melodic streaks, and bursts of soaring lead guitar. Landing somewhere along the spectrum between instrumental indie rock and electronic-infused post-rock, the record fuses Deems’ many musical influences—Mogwai, Russian Circles, Tristeza, Tortoise, Explosions in the Sky, Three Mile Pilot, and Pinback, among others—while also carrying with it the musical DNA and hybrid spirit that had characterized Form and Fate and Deems’ various other projects.
August 29th 2019, the first single, The Siren Sounds, will see a release via 500 Records, followed on September 5th by a second single, It May Be a Long Ride. Together the two songs see Deems building on the themes of his previous record as he steadily evolves his craft both as a songwriter and producer. The leading “The Siren Sounds” immediately submerges itself in chunky guitar riffs and full-bodied rhythmic programming, while “It May Be a Long Ride” wanders out into more meditative territory, even folding hints of vocal melodies beneath layers of patient guitar.
In October 2019, Deems will complete his run of releases with The Tide is Coming, a four-track EP that sees Music from a Birdcage skillfully expand with new sonic capabilities. The opening title track is a Tortoise-like excursion where a pulsing synth line underpins intertwining layers of rich guitar, while “Attack / Retreat” dives into heavier depths, though with a notable restrain. The second half of the record takes Music from a Birdcage from one side of the musical spectrum to almost its opposite with the charging “Saw Blades in the Sand” eventually giving way to the buoyant, pleasantly meandering “Lost at Sea.” Across the record, you can hear Deems’ deliberate growth as a solo artist—the sounds here are dense and purposeful, and the songs have a clearer thread of intention than Deems’ first explorations as Music from a Birdcage. He is still using an iPad, a $30 iRig interface, and a guitar, but on The Tide is Coming Deems has found ways to construct more expansive sonic worlds from his efficient musical toolkit.
As with From My Trench to Yours, Music from a Birdcage’s three upcoming releases have been mastered by Daniel McKenzie (of The Rum Diary, Built For The Sea, and Shuteye Unison) and each come with intricate artwork designed by Joe Avina of Formless Ethereal Art.