For a CD, photo, interview, info and more, please contact Bryna Ziobro or Emily Lichter at Public Emily - 413.527.4900

Bar/None Records
Public Emily
Charterhouse Music Group
William F. Kennedy, Jr.
Charterhouse Music Group .

The music of Philadelphia’s Emily 'Birdie' Busch is natural.  There is no pretense, nothing forced or processed - just delicate, beautiful melodies and deceptively simple lyrics that resonate deeply upon further discovery.  Inspired by writers like Paul Simon, Gillian Welch and Neil Young, there is a distinct jubilance to her writing that is informed with a sweet sorrow, creating a musical balance that is at once comfortable, familiar and still unique.

In 2006, the Village Voice said of her acclaimed debut, “The Ways We Try is one of the slyest neo-folky records in recent memory, its blues loopy and eccentric, and its simple melodies often
as inspired as say, Syd Barrett’s.”  That unique sound has elicited raves from the press and created genuine anticipation for her new album. “If Birdie Busch is this good on her first, we expect greatness for #2. [], “  Busch closes by using a full rich band on the last track, concluding the freshman record the way the sophomore should begin.  {CMJ]

Penny Arcade does indeed build on the promise of The Ways We Try.  Again working with producer and  musician Devin Greenwood  (Norah Jones, Amos Lee)  the two decided to record the bulk of the record in South Philly in a room in Devin’s house dubbed “The Honey Jar” and then moved to  Scullville Studios, NJ, once again creating another home spun sonic statement.  Restored inspiration for the home locale came about on a spring trip to the Stax Museum in Memphis TN, where the influence of close knit community and collaboration conjured up real magic on the Arcade recordings.

Along with Birdie and Devin, multi-instrumentalists Todd Erk and Ross Bellenoit worked on Penny Arcade with everyone switching up and playing different instruments experimenting to find the best core groove for the song.  “I loved witnessing the quality of music that comes about when people are thrown together because they are neighbors and friends, believers and musicians, all able to have this dialogue that somehow seems more intimate because of that. There’s a certain feeling that is transmitted in making use of all that.  I’m conscious of wanting to make meaningful work with the people I’ve come to know meaningfully.

One such standout track is “The Huff Singers (North Philly)”, about a gospel-singing group Birdie met while waitressing at a gospel brunch.  “Mr. Huff, who is in his eighty’s,  carries a Polaroid camera around and he asked me if he could take my  picture and then he gave me the copy.  I love to visit the group in their rehearsal space and listen to them swap old time songs and recordings, and we have made an effort to bridge the gap between cultures, and it’s a real pleasure for me.”

If Birdie’s first album was like peaking into a quieter world of journal meanderings and short vignettes, consider Penny Arcade a  musical manifesto, with declarations of forgiveness, mercy, mysticism, and beyond.  Expect some pop culture references in songs like “Go Go Gadget Heart” and her interpretation of the Steve Miller Band gem, “Wild Mountain Honey”.  What we have on Penny Arcade are shiftier tempos, evolving sounds, a verve for songwriting and a voice that perfectly characterizes the songs.  Melodies infuse and refuse to leave the brain, and words seem to resonate even more in songs like ‘Clemency’, which really captures the essence of her writing style and general outlook on life.

 Birdie Busch weaves wonderfully upbeat arrangements with a whimsy and looseness usually honed by more experienced songwriters.  Penny Arcade delivers on the promises identified in her first recordings, and will again find an audience of fans who appreciate her fascinating style, resolute honesty and refreshing sense of melody and lyric.

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