Extreme metal band The Body and vocally-driven drone-metal band Big|Brave announced a collaboration album called Leaving None But Small Birds, which is set to be released on September 24 through Thrill Jockey. They shared the first single from the record today, titled “Oh Sinner.”
“Oh Sinner” is a mellower song than each act’s credentials would lead one to expect. A plodding drum part sets a consistent, slow pace for the track. Two guitar parts add to the rhythm, one rocking repetitively, one with crashing chords, which lead into Robin Wattie of Big|Brave’s fitting opening verse, “When the sea/Begins to roar/And the rocks begin to melt/When the stars/From the elements are falling/Where will you stand?”
The rest of the song plays out just like that intro, sustained by the track’s tense, alluring atmosphere for two more verses. The Body mainly makes their contribution to the piece known through the creeping noise rising up towards the end of the track.
It’s shaping up to be both bands’ folkiest release by far, but Big|Brave reportedly has roots as a minimalist folk band and The Body shares their love for old-time country, folk and blues music. That said, the album’s Bandcamp page promises the full release to be a much more diverse experience. There will reportedly be a large contrast between ‘gusts’ of instrument noise and tense drones, with maximalist storms of sound and steadier sequences present in equal measure. It was written while the bands were in the studio at Machine With Magnets, in coordination with producer/engineer Seth Manchester.
The page also notes that the album title was lifted from a lyric sung on their piece “Polly Gosford,” which says, “He covered her grave/And hastened home/Leaving none but small birds/Her fate to bemoan.” As is the case for the entire project, Wattie’s words were inspired by various Appalachian, Canadian and English folk songs and hymns.
Leaving None But Small Birds Tracklist:
1. Blackest Crow
2. Oh Sinner
3. Hard Times
4. Once I Had a Sweetheart
5. Black Is the Color
6. Polly Gosford
7. Babes in the Woods