It’s been five years since bassist Paul Siler and guitarist Cheetie Kumar broke ranks from Garage Rock titans Cherry Valence, got married after nearly a decade of dating and assembled their new band project, Birds of Avalon. The next shift was Siler’s move to guitar, a subtle but powerful step that allowed Siler and Kumar unlimited time (given their domestic situation) to work out their dual guitar attack. The pair invited keyboardist/vocalist and old friend Craig Tilley to jam with them, followed in short order by Dynamite Brothers drummer Scott Nurkin and multi-instrumentalist David Mueller.
Steered by a love of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and John Coltrane and galvanized by a contemporary vibe, Birds of Avalon put all of their energy into touring as much as possible.
Over the past two years, the Raleigh, N.C., quintet has lived up to its early billing. Last spring saw the release of the stripped-back yet still densely fabulous Outer Upper Inner EP, teeing up the June release of Birds of Avalon’s much anticipated sophomore full-length, Uncanny Valley, a swirling black-light evocation of bygone days, as delicate as drifting tendrils of incense and as pummeling as a paisley jackhammer.
Through it all, Birds of Avalon’s Pop roots are clearly evident: Mitch Easter is a friend and sonic advisor, and his influence courses through the band’s catalog. But the best way to experience Birds of Avalon is face to face — apply plenty of soundscreen and brace yourself for the band’s psychedelic onslaught.
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