Free as a Birdsong - Metro US

Free as a Birdsong

It’s usually music veterans with several albums under their belts that release box sets. But 4-year-old Birdsong at Morning — based on Stow, Mass. — decided to debut with one.

“This does seem a little ambitious,” laughs singer Alan Williams about their beautifully packaged “Annals of My Glass House.” “We envisioned the box set almost from the outset.”

But Birdsong, which also includes guitarist Darleen Wilson and bassist Greg Porter, are seasoned artists who started their musical lives in Boston’s ’80s music scene. Wilson is a sound engineer of renown (Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis), while high-school friends Williams and Porter did the band thing. Williams recalls one synth outfit, Danse

Real, with a shudder: “We were as pretentious as that name indicates.”

Williams thinks music fans nowadays are less conditioned to trends. “This generation has less of a prescribed criteria,”?he says. “When I grew up, the lines were more clearly drawn on what was hip. I was always on the wrong side of those lines.”

He has since learned it is OK not to be cool.

“If you strive to be hip and fail, that’s the worst,”?he says. “If you recognize that it’s hopeless, it gives you the creative freedom to be who you are.”

Pretentious, moi?

Birdsong at Morning weren’t about to deny their classic art rock roots. They decided to go with their instincts and use a string quartet on the record.

“Nick Drake’s records, if you look back, they weren’t pretentious, they weren’t overreaching. They were just out of sync with what everyone else was doing,”?Williams says. “But there’s such clarity of purpose, and it’s lasted.”

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