Spotlight: The Wooden Birds

9pm, the Parish

Spotlight: The Wooden Birds

"I know whatever we do in the future is going to be a lot different, because we can't keep on like this forever."

That's American Analog Set songwriter Andrew Kenny, summer 2005, on the release of the seminal Austin soft-pop act's swan song, Set Free. The inevitable followed: The band split. Ten years after the release of the AmAnSet's apogee, The Golden Band, which the band reunited to play in its entirety at Friday's day party, Kenny introduces the Wooden Birds to a new generation.

"I wanted to make this extremely rhythmic project with really simple songs," Kenny explains. "They're built on rhythm and loops and me beating on a guitar, and of course, anything that's built on a loop is going to be repetitive, but I don't think there's any fat on this recording."

That message in minimalism is a reaction to the Analog Set's ebb and flow as well as Kenny's time with Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene in 2007. While the Wooden Birds' songs were already gestating – debut Magnolia (Barsuk), due May 12, might as well be called Andrew Kenny Presents: Andrew Kenny – BSS helped the local break longtime habits.

"I got a lesson in spontaneity from Broken Social Scene, and if I took away anything, it was that you gotta let things just happen," says Kenny.

Recorded with the help of Set Free producer Chris Michaels, former Austinite Leslie Sisson, and Ola Podrida songwriter David Wingo, Magnolia is easy, earthy, and undoubtedly Southern, like the dusky buzz of summer cicadas. There are no double tracks, no tricks, just simple, real songs, and as soon as Kenny finds a permanent drummer to replace South by Southwest fill-in Michael Bell of Lymbyc Systym, this postcard from the South travels abroad.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Friday Picks & Sleepers
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Obvious Picks and loads of not-so-obvious Sleepers!

March 20, 2015

Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
International hip-hop, or domestic, Modern Outsider sounds?

March 20, 2015

More by Darcie Stevens
Phases & Stages
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It's Blitz! (Record Review)

April 3, 2009

Day Party Crawl
Insound/Hot Freaks Party

March 20, 2009


The Wooden Birds

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle