Americana. Quirky. Upbeat. Harmonic. These are just a few words that come to mind when listening to Birds Over Arkansas, Americana Prog Rockers whose influences span from Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, Peter Gabriel, and Frank Zappa to Americana artists such as The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, and Iron & Wine. Formed in 2011, the band consists of Scott Haskitt (guitar, lead vocals), Laura Hartshorn (keyboards, vocals), John Mondick (guitar, vocals), Ryan Berg (drums), and Chico Huff (bass).
“In the writing process, we started realizing that we had these quirky and unorthodox ideas, and then we would edit them down until they sounded like everyone else. It was really frustrating, sort of killing our own creativity. So we started to shine a light on the quirky bits until they started to make sense in their own way.”
Their new EP Behind the Lights is an eclectic mix of heartfelt lyrics, infectious melodies, and complex rhythmic structures. Notable guest musicians David Rhodes (Peter Gabriel) lends his ambient electric guitar style to The String, and Carter Gravatt (Carbon Leaf) adds soaring lead guitar lines to Comet.
It’s no surprise, given the band’s tenacity and individuality that Catapult – an addictive little number – is now in rotation on airwaves across the United States, as well as Aspen Public Radio naming the song as one of the 16 best “Under The Radar” songs of 2014, alongside such notable artists as Jackson Browne and Willie Nelson.
“Something magical happens when musicians learn to let go of trying to please the mainstream and just write music that feels good to them. Birds Over Arkansas finally found this freedom and has been on the fast track to stardom ever since” Indie Band Guru
“This has to be one of the best and most well put together sounding albums from production to musicianship. Crisp clean recording allows everyone to make their mark on the album and vocals sound fantastic” Shakefire
“There are very few indie albums that can measure up to the music of Behind The Lights, this EP delivers great music on all tracks without exception. Birds Over Arkansas has all the components: outstanding musicianship, resplendent vocals, a clean, crisp sound and timeless music.” Jamsphere
“Birds Over Arkansas has covered the map in acoustic sounds and pushed the borders of their genre in every direction, resulting in a completely satisfying listen and an instant curiosity to go find out more about this flawless band.” Sleeping Bag Studios