With a handful of exceptions, the departure of the lead singer very often means the demise of a band. Count Birds of Avalon among the exceptions.
The band formed in 2007 when guitarist Cheetie Kumar and Paul Siler left the Cherry Valence and teamed up with singer Craig Tilly, drummer Scott Nurkin and bassist David Mueller and recorded two LPs and an EP between 2007-09.
Tilley split off from the band this year, leaving the remaining four members to close ranks and emphasize harmonies and a lean, tough psych-rock sound on Birds of Avalon’s latest, a self-titled long-player due Jan. 11 on Bladen County (and, for vinyl, Gigantic Music).
Hear for yourself on the free song, “Invasion,” which opens with a blast of gritty guitar, and features crooning harmony vocals over bass and drums moving relentlessly ahead in lockstep. It’s an arid sound that evokes scorching, shade-free days in some parched desolate outpost. Or, you know, Raleigh. Either way, it’s gripping.