Song Premiere: Gawain and the Green Knight, “Birds & Wine”

The new single from Gawain and the Green Knight’s (Alexia Antoniou and Mike O’Malley) forthcoming EP A Sleeping Place (June 11) glides in sparely on Antoniou’s crystalline vocals before taking flight. Her swooping and swirling vocals soar along the rustling breezes provided by O’Malley’s circling guitar and Michael Sach’s airy clarinet and flute. “Birds and Wine” evokes the materiality that tethers us to this world and the untethered freedom that allows us to soar above those elements that keep us grounded. Antoniou’s deeply emotional delivery affects us palpably, resonating in the depths of our bodies and souls, and reveling in the glory of the freedom to choose whom we love and to love deeply. “Birds and Wine” joyously celebrates love, as well as the sacrifices that love sometimes requires, and beauty.

According to Antoniou, “’Birds and Wine’ is a bit of an older song. I think I recorded a line that eventually made its way into the chorus (‘Come, come on and love me/it’s so nice to need me’) on my phone while walking home alone from a party that had left me feeling deeply, deeply insecure. In my mind, at the time, the line was sung sort of bitterly or ironically. But it didn’t feel like it was going anywhere as a song until months later, when I was going through my recorded song scraps and thought the line could be used in a new way. There’s something kind of fun, for me, about how it all turned out—weaving a line written in a moment of insecurity into part of a big, completely over-the-top boast from the perspective of the goddess of love and beauty herself.”

“This one needed to be a party—a boast—a swaggering thing,” adds O’Malley. “I referenced neo-soul tracks (like those from Lake Street Dive and Alabama Shakes) for the percussion textures and Vulfpeck for joyous clarinet solos. Alexia’s choice of chords lent a lot of opportunity for melting, diminished harmony, so there’s a lot of that in the winds – the feeling of being perpetually gooey-eyed in someone’s presence.”

Pre-save “Birds & Wine” – HERE.


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