One nice project I was involved with during my time at UCSB was a little band called Focusbird. We got our start playing house shows in Isla Vista with folk-oriented groups like the charming and talented Watercolor Paintings. Sarah Stanley wrote the songs, sang and played ukelele and flute, and I played glockenspiel and sometimes sang and helped with song arrangements. Our live shows, which culminated (to our amazement) in a memorable gig opening for Mirah in the spring of 2010, were always the quietest of the night.
This self-titled EP represents our six most frequently played songs - however, these recordings are more fleshed out in sound than what we used to perform live as a duo, thanks to the expert studio-direction of jazz pianist & composer Dory Bavarsky. His contributions, including parts for clarinet, harmonium and other instruments, constitute a sort of "orchestrated version" of Focusbird - though overall the sound is still very much stripped down. Let me thank Dory again here, as I can't do it enough for what a great job he did.
The cover art was made by the exceptionally talented illustrator Julia Kostreva. Her graceful vision of the music completed the package.
Focusbird is streaming at http://focusbird.bandcamp.com/; you can download the EP for free or for a donation. The band (in terms of its original performing lineup) is now on indefinite hiatus, as Sarah resides in New York and I remain in California; however, Sarah continues to write new songs and to practice mandolin, flute and singing. Follow her writings on science and music at http://seajellyexhibit.blogspot.com/.
Once more for those who skip to the bottom looking for links, download Focusbird at http://focusbird.bandcamp.com/.