Listen to new music from The Stray Birds: "Shining In The Distance" - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
The Stray Birds | photo via NPR Music

Lancaster folk trio The Stray Birds is back with a new tune to follow up its 2014 LP Best Medicine. Except this time around, they’ve upgraded themselves from a trio to a quartet. Enter Shane Leonard, the new drummer for The Stray Birds — an element their music has never featured before. “Shining In The Distance” is a welcome change from what the band has been creating since 2010.

The drums seem to be the perfect compliment to vocalist Maya de Vitry’s rich voice and lyrics, which are inspired by the Pennsylvania native’s recent relocation to Nashville. “Shining In The Distance” was featured today on NPR’s Songs We Love, where Elena See of Folk Alley says,

“Described by de Vitry as “a new gospel song,” “Shining In The Distance” is nothing if not a showcase for her raw powerhouse of a voice. Her vocal range isn’t huge — she’s got a comfortable sweet spot that she likes to stay in — but she wrings every possible drop of emotion out of the simple, catchy lyrics, singing plaintively (and believably) about looking toward something that seems completely unattainable and dreaming about the day it’ll be yours.”

And as always, Charles Muench (banjo, bass) and Oliver Craven (fiddle, guitar, mandolin) remain to provide vocal harmonies and glorious string backings. With all of these pieces, The Stray Birds have seemed to tinker with an already successful equation to make something wonderfully balanced still.

We’re just about two weeks out from The Stray Birds’ next local appearance when XPN welcomes the band to Ardmore Music Hall for the Solstice Roadshow on Thursday, June 23rd. Also performing will be the Evie Laden Band. For tickets and more information, head on over to the XPN Concert Calendar.

Listen to “Shining In The Distance” below.

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