Lori McKenna The Bird And The Rifle on LP
Produced by Grammy Winner Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Christ Stapleton, Jason Isbell)
Lori McKenna puts a magnifying glass on un-championed lives. She doesn't just notice the quiet and ordinary, she delights in it – effortlessly transforming the average to extraordinary. The result is over a decade worth of songs filled with honest stories and melodic depth, and her latest release is no exception. Produced by Dave Cobb, McKenna's tenth studio album, The Bird & The Rifle revels in the routines and events that may seem mundane but are the most important, transcendent moments of our lives.
The Bird & The Rifle proves that the worlds of Cobb and McKenna were meant to overlap. The Grammy-winning producer behind albums from Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and more, Cobb has emerged as a modern master of capturing the grizzled beauty in imperfection. "This record was made in a way that's very different from anything else I've ever done," says McKenna. "It's very much me – this record and the songs. But it's like I took the 10 songs and just got in someone else's car and took a ride down the coast. I completely plugged into the world of Dave Cobb."
Recorded live, the album invites close listening, achieving an intimacy that is comfortable but precise. Pared-down instrumentation including rolling guitar, blood-pumping bass, and soothing percussion creates room for McKenna's lyrics and vocals to soar. Her voice cuts through not by overpowering, but with stark gentleness.
"Wreck You" kicks the album off with room-shushing heartbreak. Written with Felix McTeigue nearly eight years ago, the song explores the pain of hurting someone else over sparse strings that evoke 70s-era Beatles. The title cut "The Bird & The Rifle" is an ideal example of the way McKenna acknowledges the complexity of relationships while the album also features her own recording of "Humble & Kind," which Tim McGraw recently recorded and took to country radio.