Part Bird: Oldfield
Ernest Hemingway once said in an interview, “There’s nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter, open a vein, and bleed”. The same can be said about music (truthfully, profound music) as a whole.
There can sometimes be a definite simplicity in creating meaningful songs, but at the overall cost of being intentional and vulnerable. “Oldfield”, the first EP by Kentucky band Part Bird, is a collective of songs soaked with the convictions of vulnerability that not only give an intimate glimpse into the personal experiences of frontman, Caleb Jones, but also allow the album to be a haven of relatable memories and feeling for the listeners to take hold.
Although based out of Kentucky, Part Bird traces some of its roots into the Ohio Valley Region with two of its original members hailing from both Ohio and West Virginia, as well as having shows in the area early on in their career. Speaking with Caleb on the band’s ties with the MOV, “We've always felt sort of connected to Ohio and West Virginia. We're definitely a Kentucky band, but one of our first real shows was at The Auricle in Canton, OH, and we also sort of started out playing around Huntington with our friends in The Dead Frets. So a lot of the friends and bands that have meant the most to us have been from West Virginia and Ohio”.
With some newly added members along with the help of past bandmates in the mixing and recording process, Part Bird creates an album centered on home, a mixture of childhood memories, and accounts of married life in which Caleb is the narrator recounting each event.
“The lyrics are drawing mainly from my personal experiences. A lot of the album makes really specific references to things from my life, to the point that some of the meaning is lost on everyone but me. For example, Oldfield is the cemetery my grandfather is buried in, Rose Run (the closing song to the album) is the creek that was behind his barn”.
Caleb goes on to say, “I think a lot of the lyrics did come out of the death of Tristan (current drummer) and my grandfather’s death. Now that I'm married and living other places, my childhood home is this distorted, almost sacred place in my mind”. This outlook is marked in the song Rose Run, as bursts of imagery paint the picture of Caleb’s account observing his grandfather’s funeral.
Other notable tracks include Break like Belief and Prone to, both inspired by Caleb’s wife. Led by commanding, almost guttural, vocals and accompanied by a mix of soaring guitars and the added bonus of an organ, these songs define the band well as fusing a southern-rock twist into the emo genre.
At its core, Part Bird sounds exactly like the themes they sing about: anxious, uncertain, raw feelings. To Caleb and the rest of the band, it is also a means of release, letting go of emotions through vulnerability and connecting with others in the process, “I hope when other people listen to us, they can feel the kind of relief we feel by making it”. When in all honesty, all it took was a bloodstained typewriter.
Make sure to check them out here- https://partbird.bandcamp.com/ and be on the lookout for their upcoming tour dates:
March 10-Al's Bar of Lexington, with Ohio band (and Undercurrent alum, Cutler Station)
March 11- The Cure Lounge in Louisville, KY with oldsoul and Quality Cable
March 30- The Rock Taphouse in Morehead, KY with Mojothunder
May 9- The Cure Lounge in Louisville, KY with Waterfall Wash and Zach Stefanski