"Saved by the Storm" is a Singer Songwriter-Folk album by Bird to Prey.
The opening song (entitled:'The Devil Deep Inside') starts off very sparse and subtle, the singer's (Sarah Turk) voice slowly unwrapping the theme of a dark and gripping story. A bigger production takes hold, as light strumming and xylophone is replaced by a full drum set and multilayered vocals that drive home the chorus.
Songs within the album seem to crash like waves, loud pounding choruses often retreat into whispers, giving the flow of the album dynamic.
A good example of this would be a songs like "The Watchman", chugging along... and then ending introspectively and hauntingly soft with the line: "I have spent my whole life hiding from that holy ghost...".
Softer songs that rely on poetic verses while using brief, repetitious choruses stand out as a favorite, such as is the formula in the track "Winter Star".
"Saved by the Storm" by Bird to Prey is available at this Bandcamp page.
Bird to Prey: Press
BIRD TO PREY
Saved By The Storm
Such A Punch / Independent
Bird To Prey is the stage name for Perth-via-Adelaide musician, Sarah Turk. After finding her feet in the close knit musical community of Fremantle, Turk spread her wings and found herself a new home in New York. The fruits of this bold relocation can be heard in her second album Saved By The Storm.
Stepping into the ‘anti-folk’ Mecca of Sidewalk Café, (the venue that launched Kimya Dawson and Regina Spektor) Turk found kindred spirits and gentle souls that welcomed her skewed acoustic tunes with vigour. The Devil Deep Inside highlights the mood of much of the album as Turk delicately sings about how shitty life can get.
Old Wooden Shed starts off with a whisper but builds to a whimper to become a delightfully understated spectacle, while Emily is the kind of acoustic ramble that the Violent Femmes readily turned into a stadium pleasing sing-alongs.
Turk was always an artist to keep an eye on, but with Saved By The Storm she has started to build on her quirky appeal to create a far more rounded and realised effort.
The most striking thing on this 8-track album is the incredibly different sounds Sarah Turk evokes from that voice of hers. Through the first four tracks she channels the vocal talents of Martha Wainwright, Juanita Stein, Donna Simpson, and Scout Niblett and with it the different emotional range of each of these singers.
The songs show a great range in Turk's song writing as she covers the ground between band rock on Marlborough, the understated electric guitar style that Cat Power and Niblett have made their own on 'Pepper Tree Road', and the folk acoustic of 'Well Seasons they Change'. The juxtaposition of the electric and the subtle acoustic on 'The Wind Has Taken Me' compliments the tone of the duet with Turin Robinson wonderfully, the atmospheric guitar break aches on the same level as the two vocal lines. 'Mirrors and Smoke, I'm Dancing With the Ghost'. starts of with the subtle picked electric before breaking in to a reverb laced band arrangement, retreating to Turk solo and returning to the band. It's wonderful.
All this different ranging and playing to different styles and arrangements is often an artists' downfall. By spreading themselves too thin, or by trying to adapt too many styles, the songs suffer. Their own style is hidden and manipulated, never capturing the personality of the performer or the song. Turk sidesteps this brilliantly simply because she doesn't waver in her songwriting, as anyone who has seen her live will attest. The arrangements serve the songs first and foremost. That is the strength behind Bird to Prey, and certainly the strength behind this release.
Tonight’s support at the East Brunswick Club is Bird To Prey aka Sarah Turk, who gets the room’s attention with her strong singing vocals and acoustic guitar. Sarah has such power in her voice for a small lass! She hails from Fremantle and puts on a fantastic display tonight, her music rich with ooh’s , blended with deep throaty growls. Her music could be described as acoustic roots with blues and a smidge of country rock thrown in. Sarah has a fantastic voice and is a fabulous support for tonight’s main act.
The evening's entertainment was opened by Sarah Turk, almost diminutive, almost meek, but possessing a voice that captivated even the most conversationalist of the audience. At times seeming to pinch melodies from Heartbreaker-era Ryan Adams or early Tom Waits, and who could blame her, her minimalist guitar playing and swagger served her balladry brilliantly.
Support was lent in the form of Sarah Turk, who must be tired of comparisons to Holly Throsby, because while they fit, Turk expresses herself with an astute gentleness. Her delicate, quiet songs drew the attention of the crowd, which as we all well know, is rare for support acts. To say they are pretty, is not to imply they are simplistic, rather when coupled with Turk's obvious deft songwriting and her honey voice become well, pretty. And one has to wonder, just why it is that Sarah Turk is a relative unrecognised name, and yet female artists that creates work of far less merit (I'm looking at you Missy Higgins) receive a gazillion ARIA's.
Bird to Prey performed in the Next Big Thing Band Comp on June 20, 2008
The Next Big Thing is Western Australia's richest band competition
and one of the States major musical events. NBTWA gives contemporary
musicians and solo acts around WA a chance national exposure and to be
seen and heard by key industry players.
Below is an overview of what the judges had to say
BIRD TO PREY
Quote - A great dynamic created through a creative mix of power and
The judges thought Bird to Prey blended various styles of music and and made your sound your own, the material was strong, great poetic lyrics, good arrangements and some soaring moments musically.
You displayed good use of dynamics and though your act is small in
numbers it is large in presence and this transferred over to the audience.