The Keening to Release Little Bird Oct. 6; New Song Posted

The Keening (Photo by Sutras of Light)

An anticipated return for Rebecca Vernon, formerly of SubRosa. Her solo-project, The Keening, has been in the conversation for four years, but aside from one compilation track, there hasn’t been much output until now. Little Bird will be Vernon‘s debut album as The Keening. It’s set to release Oct. 6 through Relapse, and the first single is the title-track; a nine-plus minute excursion with a richly melancholic melody and an arrangement that’s chamber-heavy in a way that’s not entirely dissimilar from some of Crippled Black Phoenix‘s litany of sorrows, but informed of course by Vernon‘s Americana and folk songwriting style.

I went and saw the Indigo Girls a couple months back, after years of my wife telling me how great they are live. They were brilliant, of course. That’s who The Keening should tour with. They’d blow minds. Yeah, I’m sure it’ll go over well at Decibel Metal & Beer Fest, but the folk in “Little Bird” could have a broader reach too. It’s not pop, necessarily, but there’s an accessibility to the sway of “Little Bird,” I think mostly because it’s beautiful, and that goes a long way.

The PR wire had this on the subject:

The Keening Little Bird

The Keening (ex-Subrosa) Announce Debut Album, Little Bird

Watch the music video for the album’s title track now.

Little Bird will be released October 6th via Relapse and the band will play inaugural live performances this fall/winter.

The Keening— the solo music project of Rebecca Vernon (ex-SubRosa)—announce debut album, Little Bird, out October 6, 2023 on Relapse Records. An ultra-melodic foray into haunted bogs, endless wells, secret crimes, jeweled cages and the unenviable curse of being a murder witness abound, Little Bird carries Vernon’s signature sounds throughout— deeply moving passages give away to cinematic, sprawling moments of chambered doom. As dark as this sounds, Little Bird also fills the air with a sense of magic and wonder – there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Keening weaves a web of lush orchestration, American Gothic sensibilities and wintry murder ballads set against a backdrop of dark, shimmering folk. Vernon’s previous band SubRosa echoes in The Keening’s chamber doom, flowing with flute, strings, harp, French horn, piano, organ and hammered dulcimer.

The Keening’s Rebecca Vernon comments: “I’m really excited to finally start releasing this music into the ether, along with the album art, and the music video for single ‘Little Bird.’ I think the film company 10 Seconds to Comply (Ken Whiting, Andrew Bonazelli and Manny OA) and their hired crew did a phenomenal job pulling together this music video and bringing their beautiful vision to light. Thanks to my friend Lucy Sharapata for playing the lead so well, Andrea Morgan and Teresa Byrne for making time to be part of it, and Andrew and his wife Mikki for hosting us at their house! I’m also excited to share the album art – two oil paintings by Lis Pardoe of Portland. Thanks to Relapse Records for making this happen!”

Little Bird, track listing:
Little Bird
The Hunter I
The Hunter II
The Truth

Largely composed at a retreat in Joshua Tree and a friend’s family homestead in Kamas, Utah, Little Bird was recorded in December 2020 at Hallowed Halls in Portland, Oregon with “Engine-ear” Billy Anderson. Anderson’s long resume includes such luminaries as Melvins, Neurosis, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, High on Fire, Bell Witch, Amenra, Agalloch, Cathedral, Cattle Decapitation, Red House Painters, Sick of it All, Sleep, and Swans.

Anderson collaborated with Vernon and Witch Mountain drummer Nathan Carson as co-producers of the recording of the album. A host of Portland’s finest session musicians lent their talents to Little Bird, including Andrea Morgan (Exulansis) on violin. Little Bird was completed in July 2021, mixed by Billy Anderson and mastered by Justin Weis at Trakworx in San Francisco.

See The Keening’s live debut performances this September including headline shows & opening for Agalloch. The Keening will also perform at Decibel Metal & Beer Fest: Denver in December. A full list of announced tour dates is available below.

Pre-Order Little Bird on LP/CD/CS/Digital via Relapse Records here:

Digital Downloads / Streaming available here:

Look for more news soon from The Keening.

The Keening, on tour:
September 15 Bellingham, WA @ Shakedown
September 16 Seattle, WA @ Clock-Out Lounge
September 22 Eugene, OR @ John Henry’s
September 23 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom w/ Agalloch, Thief
December 2 Denver, CO @ Decibel Metal & Beer Fest

The Keening, “Little Bird” official video

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