Laura Burhenn, doing musical business as The Mynabirds since 2010, has emerged as one of indie rock’s fiercest truth-tellers, and this song, although released in August, becomes more relevant by the day.
I’d rather have cuts on my knees
Than blood in my mouth
From biting my tongue
And keeping it down
“Shouting at the Dark” is one of nine songs that Burhenn wrote and recorded in the immediate aftermath of January’s inauguration and the Women’s March that followed. The title alone speaks volumes as the United States has been plunged into an amoral miasma that seems now the inevitable consequence of capitalism finding its most reliable partner in widespread stupidity. Anyone with a heart still beating in his or her chest is shouting at the dark for the better part of the day these days.
The easy glide of the music, propelled by a melodic, rubbery bass line, disguises the open-ended harmonics on display, as melodies manage to flow and lack resolution at the same time. Guitars blend effortlessly with synthesizers, with a human touch consistently reasserting itself into the groove—I like, as an example, that little three-note background tweak we hear at 1:12. I like too the thoughtful, scaled-down guitar solo we get instead of a full catharsis at 2:28. Throughout I have the sense that Burhenn is at once welcoming and challenging us, much as she does in a video that dares to show the singer/songwriter dancing with a troupe of women who neither move nor look like professional dancers but (god forbid!) real-life women.
“Shouting at the Dark” is a track from the album Be Here Now, released in August on Saddle Creek Records. You can listen to some of it and buy it (including on vinyl) via Bandcamp. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxbG_Ili0NM MP3 via KEXP. This is the Mynabirds’ fourth appearance on Fingertips, dating back to 2010.