Arts Desk

Georgie James’ Laura Burhenn Gets Soulful with Mynabirds

laurabuhrennCareful observers will note that since the breakup of D.C.'s Georgie James in 2008, both of its principal members have turned to heartbroken themes and classicist pop songcraft. On the upcoming debut album of his band Title Tracks, John Davis draws deeply from '70s power-pop and late-'60s garage rock—an infectious, tightly knit but elemental sound that juxtaposes perfectly with Davis' woeful lyrics.

His former musical partner, Laura Burhenn, also seems to be in relationship-recovery mode—at least if you're going by her latest project, the Mynabirds, and the reverb-heavy song its label released for free today, "Numbers Don't Lie." If the song didn't occasionally simmer with anxious, electronic gurgles, you'd be forgiven for thinking it could be a lost Dusty Springfield cut, likely from the Dusty in Memphis era. Equal parts bubblegum pop and blue-eyed soul, it recounts an acrimonious split and an aftermath full of recriminations. "Baby if you want to be right/I will let you be right/I will let you be right," she sings in the chorus, refusing to fire back. "You know that the numbers don't lie/Oh no, the numbers don't lie/Two wrongs will not make it right." Like the best soul songs, it takes emotional despondancy and finds gritty, soaring catharsis.

The Mynabirds are named, by the way, for the Mynah Birds, a band that existed briefly in 1966, recorded for Motown, and featured—incredibly—Neil Young and Rick James. A couple of cuts are available on a Motown singles compilation (listen to them here), but most of that group's songs remain unheard.

As for Mynabirds 2010, the group's debut album, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, is out on Saddle Creek on April 27. The Title Track's debut, It Was Easy, drops on Feb. 9 on Ernest Jenning Record Co.

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