The Mynabirds

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This article is about the indie rock band. For the family of passerine birds, see Myna.
For the 1964–1967 Canadian R&B band, see The Mynah Birds.
The Mynabirds
Origin Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Genres Indie pop, Indie rock, Garage rock, Blue-eyed soul
Years active 2009–present
Labels Saddle Creek
Associated acts Georgie James
Bright Eyes
Members Laura Burhenn
Tom Hnatow
Tyler Odom
Patrick Damphier
Nicole Childrey
Rebecca Marie Miller

The Mynabirds are an American indie pop band founded by singer-songwriter and pianist Laura Burhenn,[1] who was previously one half of the Washington, D.C. indie duo Georgie James.[2] Burhenn formed The Mynabirds in 2009,[3] and shortly after signed to Saddle Creek Records and relocated to Omaha, Nebraska.[4] The sound has been described by Pitchfork Media as "...openhearted, politically engaged, feminist pop that, miraculously, never veers into schmaltz."[5]


Laura Burhenn Early years (1994–2008)[edit]

After years of classical piano and stints singing and playing keyboards in rock bands and electronica projects in Washington, D.C.,[6] Burhenn founded her own record label, Laboratory Records, and began releasing solo work. Burhenn's first solo record "Not Ashamed to Say" was released in 1999 and is a collection of thirteen songs written from 1994 to 1998. After releasing a split 7" in 2003, Burhenn released the full length "Wanderlust" in 2004. In 2005, Burhenn teamed up with John Davis, drummer of defunct DC trio Q and Not U, to form Georgie James. Laura first worked with Saddle Creek in 2007 on Georgie James' debut LP "Places."[7] The duo parted ways in late 2008.[8]

What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood (2010)[edit]

Burhenn went into the studio with Richard Swift in the summer of 2009 and recorded what would become the debut album from The Mynabirds. The band signed with Saddle Creek in January 2010[9] and released What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood to critical acclaim in April 2010. Anthony Lombardi described the record in PopMatters as "...a soul-purging, powerful statement of survival and self-assertion that stands head and shoulders above the current crop of navel-gazers populating today’s underground music scene."[10] The Mynabirds supported their debut LP with more than a year of touring with Bright Eyes, David Bazan and Crooked Fingers. Burhenn also toured at this time as a member of Bright Eyes.[11]

Generals (2012)[edit]

At the end of 2011, Burhenn headed back into the studio with Swift to begin work on The Mynabirds' second album Generals. Saddle Creek released the title-track single in February 2012 as a free download.[12] The album was released on June 5, and was met with near universal critical acclaim, with Gianna Stefanelli of CMJ describing the work as "...a serious and intellectual pop album."[13]

Laura Burhenn tour with The Postal Service (2013)[edit]

In 2013, Burhenn was a touring member of The Postal Service's reunion tour. She provided back-up vocals along with Jenny Lewis.

Lovers Know (2015)[edit]

In May 2015, it was announced on The Mynabirds' official website that Lovers Know was released on August 7th, 2015 via Saddle Creek. Lovers Know took a year to make, as Burhenn drove across the US twice and toured South Africa solo while writing. Burhenn then spent 8 months in studios in Los Angeles, Nashville, Joshua Tree and Auckland, New Zealand with producer Bradley Hanan Carter (of Black English).[14]

The first single, "Semantics," debuted on NPR's All Songs Considered on May 12, 2015.[15]


  • Laura Burhenn — vocals, keyboards, piano
  • Tom Hnatow — guitar
  • Tyler Odom — guitar
  • Patrick Damphier — bass, percussion, vocals
  • Nicole Childrey — drums, vocals
  • Rebecca Marie Miller — percussion, vocals


Year Details Peak chart positions

2010 What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood 36
2012 Generals 18
2015 Lovers Know
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released


  1. ^ "Q&A with Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds". We Love DC. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ [2] Archived August 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Cheryl Waters. "The Mynabirds: Dusty In Omaha". NPR. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  5. ^ "The Mynabirds: Generals | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  6. ^ "Featured artist". Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  7. ^ "GEORGIE JAMES (Q and not U) signs to Saddle Creek + 2007 Tour Dates". 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  8. ^ ""Hard Feelings"?: Georgie James break up | Vox Populi". Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  9. ^ Sudol, Brendan (2010-01-27). "Saddle Creek Signs The Mynabirds (ex-Georgie James) | Music News | Releases". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  10. ^ Lombardi, Anthony (April 30, 2010). "The Mynabirds: What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood". PopMatters. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  11. ^ Fischer, Jonathan L. (2010-12-15). "Laura Burhenn Joins Bright Eyes - Arts Desk". Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  12. ^ "The Mynabirds announce new record, free MP3, and portrait project". Saddle Creek. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  13. ^ Gianna Stefanelli. "Review: Mynabirds - Generals (Saddle Creek)". Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  15. ^ "The Mynabirds, 'Semantics'". Retrieved 2015-05-29. 
  16. ^ "The Mynabirds – Chart History". 

External links[edit]