Footings – Alienation – 2016

footings-alienationI suppose the thing to keep in mind is the difference between a song and a call. A birdsong is a melodious series of notes, perfected through practice, a fluid juggling of air and soul and lung and throat and membranes. Songs are almost exclusively related to courtship. Birdcalls, however, are brief, simple—chatter, alarms. The mundane.

Eric Gagne, artist behind avian monikers Passerine and Redwing Blackbird, has the equipment for both at once. Joined by Bunny’s a Swine drummer Dustin Ashley Cote and Elisabeth Fuscia on viola and backing vocals, Gagne’s songs sew halo-ic melody on an over-thinking and underemployed head. Listen through Alienation and you’ll know its characters over the course of an odd season–record snows or unseasonable heat, surprising, enlivening loves and the same thoughts that waft over them every time they get high, a season that’s their last straw or a testament to their insurmountable propensity to settle. “Rabbit may wander away from his home, might risk the fox to just be alone. Won’t be for nothing, won’t be a lark, because everyone understands the fear of the dark,” Gagne sings. There’s the chatter of a call and the soul of a song, forgetting the pain of needing a response only as long as the birdsound continues to rise above traffic, thoughts, landscaping crews, notifications, rusted car parts, snowplows, upstairs vacuuming, restlessness, other birds, silence…

FFO: Brown Bird, Lou Barlow, Tracy Morrow, Digger Barnes, Cassette, Cat Power. Pre-order Alienation (out Feb 19) on cassette from Sophomore Lounge Records and Sexual Decade Records. Look for it then on Footings’ Bandcamp. Follow on Facebook.



“I will not destroy myself/ ’cause that just doesn’t seem worthwhile”


New Hampshire cabin outlet Passerine crafts a stark, meditative mini-album out of a rough-textured guitar and wafty vocals. The accomplishment of “Blow Wind Blow” is worth the whole bundle, not that there’s a short stick here. On that song, Passerine (alias of Eric Gagne from bands like Death to Tyrants and Redwing Blackbird) blends some prickly fingerpicking with distressed downstroaking and emerges with a cool kind of lo-fi bluegrass–something like shade-of-faded-blue-grass, blueyondergrass. For fans of that articulate forresty madness you’ll get out of Digger Barnes, Lou Barlow, Katie Crutchfield, Franz Nicolay, Cassette.

Destroy Myself
Blow Wind Blow
Beech Trees

Grab the cassette from Sophomore Lounge Records (State Champion, Animal City, Spider Bags, Only Sons) and the digital from Passerine’s bandcamp.