AltWire Recommends: Exploring Birdsong – The Downpour

While this song has been out for a few weeks, we felt it was very appropriate to share one of the most powerful and haunting songs we’ve heard in recent memory. Performed by British trio Exploring Birdsong, this hauntingly beautiful track comes off of their recently released EP The Thing With Feathers which was released on November 29th through Long Branch Records. Below is what the trio had to say about this track:

“The Downpour has always has been a special song for us. Written more or less in the space of a night, the song focusses directly on loss, and the emotional turmoil that can come with it. With this is mind, our intention was to leave it open to interpretation lyrically – due to the emotional nature of the lyrical content, we felt it important that the listener is able to make the song as personal to them as it is us.” 

The band also released the intensely beautiful “The River” back in October which you can listen to here.

Check out the track below:

About The Thing With Feathers (From Press Release):


1 Hope

2 The River

3 The Sinking Question

4 The Thing With Feathers

5 The Baptism

6 The Downpour

7 Deliverance (CD-EP Bonus Track)

Rarely are new groups as exciting, talented or unique as Exploring Birdsong, the piano-led guitarless trio from Liverpool. Straddling progressive rock, pop, and uncategorizable genre-blending beauty, the band deliver with their debut EP The Thing With Feathers. The release follows the success of singles ‘The Baptism’ and the one-take acapella version of the classic ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’.

Rarely too do you hear voices as captivating as frontwoman Lynsey Ward’s. Powerful, controlled, and spine-chillingly tender, Lynsey’s vocals help mark Exploring Birdsong as a prospect to watch, not least in the staggering ‘The Downpour’, described by the band as “our Great Gig In The Sky”. Also playing keyboards, she is backed by the jawdropping talents of Matt on drums/percussion and Jonny on bass/second keyboards (sometimes playing both bass and keys simultaneously).

The EP is broadly speaking a concept release, centered on the Seamus Heaney poem ‘Bye Child’ and the story of Kevin Halfpenny, one of the most bizarre cases of child cruelty ever recorded. This is mirrored in the EP title and cover art (designed by Lynsey), with broken backbones becoming broken wings. The title itself also references Emily Dickinson’s “’Hope’ is the thing with feathers” poem, which itself is a call-back to the music found within:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

Having recently graduated from Liverpool’s Institute of Performing Arts, the young group have already caught the eyes of key players in the UK press (Prog magazine, Kerrang! Magazine, Classic Rock Magazine) as well as achieved two Progressive Music Awards nominations in 2019. The band have been hand-picked to support Sleep Token, toured with proggers Godsticks, and performed at HRH Prog. Unplaceable for the most part, the band bring to mind elements of Steven Wilson, Kate Bush, Rush, Sleep Token, and Agent Fresco.

Line Up:

Lynsey Ward – Vocals, keyboards

Jonny Knight – Bass guitar, keyboards

Matt Harrison – Drums, percussion

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