Before forming the Mynabirds in 2009, Laura Burhenn made her living as a solo artist in Washington, D.C., where she also founded Laboratory Records in 1999. Eight years later, she teamed up with John Davis -- another veteran of the local music scene -- to form an experimental duo named Georgie James. Although Davis’ previous group, Q and Not U, had been known for its aggressive post-hardcore music, Georgie James looked to pop groups for inspiration, particularly harmony-heavy outfits like the Zombies and the Kinks. The group didn’t last long, though, with Burhenn and Davis going their separate ways after releasing one album.
For her next project, Burhenn decided to stay with Saddle Creek, the same Nebraska-based label that had released Georgie James’ debut in 2007. She wrote a new batch of songs inspired by the likes of Neil Young, Motown, and Carole King, and eventually relocated to Oregon to record the material with producer Richard Swift. Another Saddle Creek artist, Orenda Fink, helped Burhenn assemble a solid backing band, and the resulting record -- What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, which Burhenn released under the Mynabirds moniker -- appeared in 2010. A limited edition 7", "All I Want is Truth (For Xmas)," arrived in 2011, followed by the group's sophomore outing, Generals, in 2012. ~ Andrew Leahey