Johnny Manchild and the Poor Bastards just released a new single and video called "Oh, Songbird" from the forthcoming album "Rapture Waltz". To celebrate we asked Johnny to tell us about the track. Gere is the story:
Sometime in the Spring/Summer of 2020, I was demoing a handful of new songs that I had, and "Oh, Songbird" was among them. I had just lost a family member and was now quarantined just like everybody else, and things were beginning to look really bad. Music was dead, along with any other type of live event or social interaction, and It was weighing on me pretty heavily. This was one of those songs that just sprang up from nothing, and immediately turned into a full, thought-out song. I had demoed it with just piano and vocals, and it stayed that way for a year or two.
When it came time to make a new record, I had actually decided to do an EP. I recorded it at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, California with Ethan Neel on drums, and Wes Sharon Engineering. We cut 7 tracks while we were there, with "Oh, Songbird" not actually being one of them. I was later convinced to cut a full LP later, and that's when this song made its way into the mix. I had been playing guitar more and more, with a majority of our upcoming album guitar parts being recorded by me, and "Oh, Songbird" finally seemed to make sense once guitar became a bigger part of the song. This song to me feels like "London Calling" by The Clash, or "The Passenger" by The Stooges. I wanted something with that feel, and this checks that box in a way that I really dig playing live.
The main point of the song to me is that even as dark and bleak as life can sometimes get, I know there's an end and that eventually, everything will be ok. It's not always easy to see the other side of a bad time in life, but I think just believing in something is good enough sometimes. I hope this song helps anybody else out there as much as it helped me.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the upcoming album (and tour) here