by Thomas Bedward August 30, 2021
The new single from Minnesota based folk turned genre-bending Americana-Newgrass duo Maygen & The Birdwatcher, ‘Jigsaw’ has arrived as one of the best new releases of the year. Taken from the duo’s highly anticipated full-length album ‘Moonshine’, which is set for release in the fall, it’s essential new music that you can’t afford to miss.
Maygen Lacey is an accomplished, Midwest CMA nominated singer-songwriter with millions of streams on Spotify from listeners around the world. Noah Neumann is a wicked talented guitar virtuoso with a taste for Delta Blues. The combination of the two is Maygen & The Birdwatcher, an indie-folk duo turned genre-bending Americana-Newgrass and Soul experience you need to hear.
In many respects, Maygen and Noah couldn’t be more different. From their upbringing and musical taste to the Minneapolis vs Saint Paul debate, there are few things these two agree on, however, when they make music, there’s magic between them. Through the pandemic, the two acquired some serious string cred by adding to their line-up: Ethan and Jesse Moravec (formerly of Sawtooth Brothers) on upright bass, mandolin, fiddle and vocal harmonies, as well as Nik Pellinen (of Sawed Off String Band) on banjo and lead guitar. The addition of these three has brought the band a wealth of talent, enhancing their rootsy, Americana sound. Maygen & The Birdwatcher just finished recording at the well-known Flowers Studio in Minneapolis (The Jayhawks, Mason Jennings, Soul Asylum, Jeremy Messersmith, Lizzo) and will be releasing the first single off the album in June 2021.
In the band’s own words, the track is an "honest look at the dynamics of what family life really is. I know MANY families that were entirely shook by the pandemic and the newfound extra, extra time with only the people under their roof. You’ve got a number of individual humans with all their own wants/needs/quirks/triggers all living in the same space. It can be a puzzle to figure out how to keep everyone feeling loved, valued and heard. It’s important to continually shift and shape your unique family into something that can thrive no matter what life throws at you."
Maygen & Noah’s 2018 debut album, ‘The People We Don’t Choose’, drew on their distinctly different musical influences including Brandi Carlile, Florence + The Machine, and Balmorhea to create a collection of songs that explored family, addiction, loss and navigating the people in their lives. With heartbreak and hope intertwined throughout, it was very well received. Its single, ‘Comeback’ currently spins on local radio, including The Current’s Radio Heartland.
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