|Origin||Perth, Western Australia, Australia|
|Genres||Pop rock, alt country|
Basement Birds were an Australian indie pop rock group which formed in mid-2009 and comprised four singer-songwriters, Kevin Mitchell (of Jebediah, aka Bob Evans), Steve Parkin (ex-Vinyl, Autopilot, solo), Josh Pyke (ex-An Empty Flight, solo) and Kavyen Temperley (of Eskimo Joe). The members' mutual love of lush vocal harmonies and alt-country style was the basis for forming the project. Mitchell, Parkin and Temperley had each developed their careers in Perth.
Influences cited by the band include Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Wilco. Their first single, "Waiting for You" was debuted on Australian radio station Triple J's Drive program on 14 April 2010 and subsequently released for sale on the iTunes Store. Their sole album was self-titled and appeared on 16 July 2010, which peaked at No. 12 on the ARIA Albums Chart. The group supported the album with a national tour, they last performed together in Perth in April 2011. At that time, Mitchell indicated that there were no plans to resume the project as each member returned to their respective groups or solo careers.
Kavyen Temperley, singer-songwriter and bass guitarist for Eskimo Joe, proposed the idea of working in a harmony-driven group, which eventually resulted in Basement Birds, with fellow singer-songwriters when Josh Pyke (ex-An Empty Flight, solo) joined a national tour with Eskimo Joe. During 2008 Kevin Mitchell (singer-songwriter-guitarist of Jebediah) was working on his solo project as Bob Evans. In his backing band was Steve Parkin (ex-Vinyl, Autopilot, solo), another singer-songwriter and a lead guitarist.
The four members discussed joining together over phone calls and emails. The initial vision was to record acoustic-based music which referenced their mutual influences of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Wilco. Mitchell and Parkin started writing what would become the group's first single, "Waiting for You". Meanwhile, Pyke and Temperley had penned a track, "Reasons". Eventually both tracks were credited to all four members.
Luckily we all seem to have fairly similar tastes in music, I think it'd be harder if we had someone who was into death metal and another into jazz fusion. That'd be tough. There's enough common ground between the four of us.— Steve Parkin
"Waiting for You", the first single by Basement Birds, was released exclusively on 26 April 2010 by the iTunes Store. It had been first aired by The Doctor aka Lindsay McDougall on the Drive program of national radio station, Triple J, on 14 April. Pyke revealed, in an accompanying interview, that the group hoped to tour in mid-2010.
The content of the group's debut album was released via iTunes digital downloads in the form of three extended play bundles and two singles, every couple of weeks. Carmine Pascuzzi of Mediasearch declared the bundles were "an Australian first." The initial such bundle included "Reasons", "Skin of the Sky" and "Bus Stop" (the latter featuring Julia Stone on guest vocals), which was released on iTunes on 17 May 2010.
Their self-titled album was physically released on 16 July and added the CD-only track, "All I Want", to the previously issued material. Aside from its four core members the session musicians were Rachael Aquilina on violin; Malcolm Clark on drums and percussion; Hugh Jennings on flute; Lee Jones on guitars, lap steel guitar and piano; Lucky Oceans on pedal steel guitar; Joel Quartermain on electric guitar; Shaun Luke Sibbes on drums and percussion; and Stone on guest vocals. It was co-produced by Basement Birds with Andy Lawson for Inertia Records.
AllMusic's Alexey Eremenko described it as "a good record anyway, full of nice vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar strumming, but not devoid of dynamics." Basement Birds peaked at No. 12 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Three iTunes exclusive acoustic sessions were also released in mid-2010. The group also provided a cover version of The Presets' single, "My People", for Triple J's "Like a Version" segment on 23 July.
The album's first single, "Waiting for You", was released with an accompanying music video that features the band at Temperley's home studio. The second music video, "Not the One", was filmed in Ashendon and has a blue ute on a "red dirt" back-road. The driver is Malcolm Clark (The Sleepy Jackson's drummer) and it was filmed in less than eight hours.
Basement Birds were under the management of Catherine Haridy Management company – with Catherine Haridy and Gregg Donovan. That company also handled the individual careers of Mitchell, Parkin and Temperley.
Basement Birds supported the album with a national tour during August and September in 2010, thereafter gigs were intermittent and they last performed together in Perth in April 2011. At that time, Mitchell indicated that there were no plans to resume the group. Following the completion of the Basement Birds project, Mitchell rejoined Jebediah for its fifth album, Kosciuszko (15 April 2011), Temperley rejoined Eskimo Joe for its fifth album, Ghosts of the Past (12 August), Pyke resumed his solo career, releasing his third studio album, Only Sparrows (19 August), and Parkin relocated to Melbourne. Both Mitchell and Parkin signed to the publishing company, Select Music, in 2012.
- Basement Birds (16 July 2010) AUS No. 12
- "Skin of the Sky"/"Reasons"/"Bus Stop" (17 May 2010)
- iTunes Sessions (8 June 2010)
- iTunes Sessions (23 June 2010)
- "Holly"/"Hardest Part"/"Heartache on the Radio" (29 June 2010)
- iTunes Sessions (13 July 2010)
- "Cinnamon and Smoke"/"All That I Feel"/"Ghosts"/"Hamilton Hill" (13 July 2010)
- "Waiting for You" (26 April 2010)
- "Not the One" (22 June 2010)
- Kevin Mitchell – lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar (2009–11)
- Steve Parkin – lead vocals, backing vocals, toy piano (2009–11)
- Josh Pyke – lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar (2009–11)
- Kavyen Temperley – lead vocals, backing vocals, upright bass (2009–11)
- Deming, Mark. "Basement Birds Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Tompkin, Julian (15 July 2010). "Basement Birds – "In the Tree of Life"". X-Press Magazine (Columbia Press Pty Ltd (Joe Cipriani)). Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Hanna, Jay (8 April 2011). "Basement Birds' no-fuss farewell". Perth Now. The Sunday Times. News Corp. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Collins, Simon (14 May 2010). "Birds of a Feather". The West Australian (West Australian Newspapers Limited).
- Salter, Ben (17 August 2010). "Birds of a Feather". Time Off (1489) (Street Press Australia Pty Ltd). Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Collins, Simon (8 May 2010). "Basement Birds ready to fly after a few beers". The West Australian (West Australian Newspapers Limited). p. 17.
- Cartledge, EJ (11 August 2010). "No Pecking Order". InPress (1135) (Street Press Australia Pty Ltd). p. 34. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "'Waiting for You' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 24 February 2015. Note: User may have to click 'Search again' and provide details at 'Enter a title:' e.g Waiting for You; or at 'Performer:' Basement Birds
- Eremenko, Alexey. "Basement Birds – Basement Birds". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 February 2015. Note: User may have to click on tabs, e.g. Credits, to access further information.
- Pascuzzi, Carmine (24 March 2010). "Introducing Basement Birds". Mediasearch. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- Basement Birds (2010), Basement Birds, Distributed by Inertia. National Library of Australia, retrieved 24 February 2015
- Hung, Steffen. "Discography Basement Birds". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Findlay, Carly (19 June 2010). "The Basement Birds". Carly Findlay. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "Basement Birds – 'My People'". Like a Version. Triple J (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)). 23 July 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- BasementBirds (6 July 2010). "Basement Birds - 'Not the One'". YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Our Roster". Catherine Haridy Management (Catherine Haridy, Gregg Donovan). 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Steve Parkin (3 July 2012). "Me and MGMT celebrating my publishing signing with a cheeky champers. Gee we work hard at our meetings!!". Steve Parkin Facebook fan page. Facebook. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Select Music (2012). "BOB EVANS". Select Music. Select Music. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Official website
- "Introducing the Basement Birds" at Soulshine
- "Introducing Basement Birds" at FasterLouder
- "Music News" at Triple J