The Sound Cafe
The Frank Burkitt Band Unveils Thoughtful Folk Album 'Silvereye'
Silvereye is the new album from Manchester-based duo The Frank Burkitt Band, set for release on Friday, 10 September. The record, which was created during the pandemic, includes songs of love, loneliness, hatred of politicians and a sprinkling of optimism, with the title named after a native New Zealand bird that symbolises hope.
Scottish musician Frank Burkitt formed the band in New Zealand seven years ago after relocating from Edinburgh to Wellington. They have toured across New Zealand, Australia and the UK, won the Vodafone NZ Music Award (Tui) for Best Folk Artist 2019, and their debut album Fools & Kings peaked at no. 12 in the Official NZ Music Charts in 2015.
Frank and Kara Filbey, his partner and band member, moved to Manchester at the start of 2020 – shifting The Frank Burkitt Band from a full ensemble to a duo. Having been given the gift of time via lockdown, they set about producing this deeply reflective self-composed album.
Frank Burkitt said: “The silvereye is a common but very beautiful small bird that you find all over New Zealand and Australia. Silvereye uses this bird as a metaphor for all the good things in the world. It seemed to symbolise hope, beauty and innocence and we wanted to capture that.
“I wrote the title track in the days after the horrific shootings that occurred in March 2019 in Christchurch, NZ. There was a stunned shock all over the country. So much pain was felt for the victims and their families and I suppose this song was my humble offering of consolation. As the events of 2020 unfolded, this song seemed to fit with what a lot of people went through in the pandemic.”
Silvereye is a folk record with an earthy sound and thoughtful lyrics that paint a rich story for the listener. Why I Hate You is a bluesy takedown of Donald Trump, while other stand-out songs include World King, a scathing biography of Boris Johnson, and the catchy, introspective I Know Nothing At All.
The album features Frank Burkitt on vocals, guitar, charango, trumpet, melodica and percussion, Kara Filbey on vocals and flute, James Geluk on double bass, Louis Thompson-Munn on rhodes and hammond and Becka Wolfe on fiddle.
The duo created and arranged the album in their Manchester home, with New Zealand and Greece based musicians sending their parts remotely. Frank also self-mixed the album, with the guidance of Calum Wood (The Banana Sessions). The album was mastered at Castlesound Studios in Pencaitland by Stuart Hamilton.
Frank added: “This album is by far the most intimate, sentimental and personally revealing I have ever released. Introspective and extremely indulgent but also crucial for my mental sanity.
“If one person out there can get any sort of healing or common ground from any of these songs then I will be deeply honoured and touched.”
Silvereye will be available to buy on CD and Vinyl and stream and download on all digital platforms, on Friday 10 September.
For more information and to pre-order visit: www.frankburkitt.co.nz
Frank Burkitt and Kara Filbey perform 'Don't Be Afraid'