The Wind-Up Birds Soar to New Heights with New Album

Photo contributed by Zac Bentz
Photo contributed by Zac Bentz

Throughout their time at Whitman, the Wind-Up Birds gained a dedicated following that has followed the band through various performances scattered across Walla Walla and beyond. The Wind-Up Birds are comprised of Whitman students and graduates, and they produce and perform original psychedelia jazz-rock. The band’s upcoming LP is scheduled to be released on March 15, 2024.

Poster by Zac Bentz

Lead singer Mo Dow ’23 explained how they wanted the new album to be a more holistic experience.

“It is kind of a psychedelic rock album. It is a concept album [that’s] more story-driven and an immersive experience. The album is something that you can actually put on and listen to the whole way through,” Dow said.

Keyboardist Zac Bentz ’23 explained that the structure and storytelling were crucial parts of developing the upcoming album.

“We hid a story in there that revolves around gender and capitalism and the idea of the Divine Feminine, and it has a whole beginning, middle and end,” Bentz said.“When I listen back to these songs, I really don’t think they could have existed in any other order, and while I’m proud of each song on its own, I think they make each other just that much better when put in conversation like this.”

Senior music major and saxophonist Jonah Panzer explained that the project was special to him because of the unique use of instruments in the recording process.

“This is my new favorite project that I’ve done with the Wind-Up Birds. The album has lots of cool textures. In the new single that just came out … I was making these weird, squealing noises on the saxophone,” Panzer said. “I normally play a melodic role … but it was cool to play a sound effects role. This album is the most unique so far.”

Bentz agreed with Panzer’s sentiment, stating that this is their favorite project the band has produced because of its coherence with the rest of their discography. 

“This is my favorite thing we’ve ever made as a group – I personally think it’s our tightest, most interesting, most well-thought-out project. It has some of Mo’s best lyrics, and it feels like a much more faithful follow-up to ‘Sweet Dreams, Goodnight’ than our second record,” Bentz said.

The album being a collaborative work fosters a sense of community. For Panzer, this is because of the distinct sense of friendship and camaraderie between band members.

“The connection feels really genuine … with the Wind-Up Birds. We all have a particular affinity for this particular style of music. We’re friends too. I also know it had been a dream of Mo to make vinyl and Zac made the coolest album cover,” Panzer said. 

Bentz talked about the importance of the album being on vinyl to the group and the dedication it took to be able to produce a physical copy. 

“This record is getting a vinyl release! This is something we’ve been dreaming of doing for years, and we finally managed to make something worth pouring a bit of money into,” Bentz said.

The recording process for the upcoming LP was also unique, with the process mainly being conducted live with an emphasis on the energy from the live performance aspects.

“I loved getting to capture some of the live energy. We recorded with a methodology that was mostly focused on getting as much done live as we could and then building it up into something larger than life,” Dow said. 

The band’s new single, “The Light Pt. I,” was recently released and they will tour live for the second time this summer. Fans can tune in to listen to them on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. 

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