Songs, at their best, reflect something of where we are, where we’ve been, or where it is we’re going. Sometimes all at once, right when we need it.
Humbird makes music in pursuit of exactly this phenomenon. With deep roots in the midwest heartland, Humbird also travels like a bramble, fusing experimental folk and environmental Americana genres in a mosaic of theaters, clubs, gardens, festivals, barns, caves, and other strange locations. Siri Undlin, the songwriter behind the moniker, forges an explorative embodiment of the narrative folk song and balladry tradition for these modern times, inviting a whole host of collaborators and listeners to add and expand the music.
On June 30th, in tandem with a debut performance on the mainstage at the venerated First Ave, Humbird shares Help Me Willie Nelson! – a new single about the ways we’re pushed and pulled in a chaotic world. A lighthearted romp of a song that nods to a classic Americana sound of summertime, open roads, and the legend himself. This release also marks Undlin’s first release on Nettwerk.
Still Life (2021), Humbird’s sophomore record, focuses on small domestic moments in the context of global events. In particular, the record details the lived experiences within Siri’s neighborhood in South Minneapolis during the wake of George Floyd’s murder by a city police officer. It is an album that cultivates soundscapes and intentional lyrics that tell braided stories. It reckons with anger, grief, and white supremacy while carving out reflective, fertile space to process current events.
Humbird’s debut full-length album, Pharmakon (2019) a careful look at that which can both cure and wound us: love, ambition, winter, and sea shells, to name a few lyrical topics. The record received critical acclaim from tastemakers such as Folk Alley and 89.3 The Current and amassed significant streams online. Not long after the album’s release, Humbird, along with so many fellow traveling musicians, were grounded by the global pandemic. Responding to the times, Humbird and friends took to backyard campfires, forests, and planetariums (in over 100 pop-up locations) to perform acoustic ballads and fairytales with original improvised scores for micro audiences, adapting to the moment and crisis at hand.
Since returning to the road, Undlin and her bandmates have toured full-time across the US, UK and Ireland. With plenty of new music on the horizon, Humbird continues to share reflections that combine and subvert genres and perspectives via recordings, performances, zines, stories, and more.