Gig Seeker Pro


Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Brooklyn, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Pop Synth




"Birch’s politically aware pop takes the stage at Baby’s All Right on 1.27"

“You bought yourself a gun, you think it makes you safer / And stop telling me what to do with my body, it’s my fucking body” Michelle Birsky sings on Birch’s synth-pop slow dancer “Pick Sides.” It can be difficult to confront large societal issues while maintaining the accessibility of pop music, but Birch pulls it off with tact, tucking the personal effects of political and social divisions into buoyant pop filled with sweeping synths and hip-hop inspired beats. Perhaps the duo’s music is all the more relatable because it acknowledges how these issues seep into our ordinary lives. Birch’s next performance will be at Baby’s All Right on January 27th opening for Cape Francis. - The Deli Magazine

"Birch share synth-pop infused Not Human EP"

Sometimes all you need is something sweet to make things okay. Sometimes all you need is something lush to take you away. You will find both on Birch's brand-new sophomore EP, Not Human, which the Brooklyn-based group have shared today in full. It's composed of four synth-savvy electro-pop numbers that are both whimsical and serenely escapist.
But while the band, (which is headed by Michelle Birsky, and supported by her bandmate Mat Towles) have taken us on a sonic adventure, they are conceptually here in the moment and reflecting on the current political climate, which became their muse for the pop piece. "Not Human is about the factors that divide us; each song abstractly focusing on a reason why we have forgotten the simple truth that all humans are created equal," they shared. - The 405


We all have that friend on social media who annoyingly posts a never ending commentary on all things Trumptastic. You may have had it already and deleted this friend, or you may still be trying to be polite and deal with this person in which case, hats off to you, girl.

Chances are, this person is likely also the person who comments on things and says all the shit that should not be said and uses #sorrynotsorry or #ImmaDoMe after the shitty things they say. Insert eye roll here.
Well, Brooklyn-based electro-pop duo Birch wrote a song about this person, aptly called, “Cell Phone.”
“It was during the early stages of the election and I started reading people’s comments and was struck by just how hateful so many of them were,” frontwoman Michelle Birsky says. “The way people speak to each other when they’re hiding behind a screen makes me so angry.”
If reading political comments on your feed has your head ready to explode, then this tune is one you need to listen to.
“The song is about how technology, particularly our ability to hide behind it, can keep us from remembering that we are all human,” Michelle adds.
Also bonus, Birch tackles topics from technology to women’s history and gender equality, you know, all the important stuff — check out “Cell Phone” below, and then peep our Q&A with singer Michelle Birsky. - Galore


The political climate of today has moved many artists to action, crafting resistance and sustainability through their art. Luckily for us, Brooklyn-based Michelle Birsky of the band Birch has been one of those inspired by today’s ever-changing events. In doing so, Birsky and bandmate Mat Towles have turned their glorious dreamy synth-pop into calls for action.

On Birch’s Sophmore EP, Not Human, the band explores societal issues and the concerns of our generation in a rounded atmospheric cloud of swirly tempos that provide a space for feeling, reflecting and dancing. Birsky’s pleas and fears hit all the right chords of the deepest corners of the heart. Today we premiere “Pick Sides” off Birch’s upcoming EP and talk to Michelle Birsky in length about the tracks important message to society under its blanket of beautiful melody.
When did you start writing your EP Not Human?

I started writing Not Human in 2016. It came on the heels of writing “Human”, a song based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, about the ways in which, on a basic level, we are all one. I decided to flip the switch and look at these human tendencies through the opposing lens: why do we forget that we are all one? That is the question that Not Human explores.

Are you surprised by how your music resonates with the political landscape today?

When I began writing these songs, we were in the midst of the election. I was witnessing the world around me and writing about divisiveness. Since then, Trump has won and the division of our country is even more clear. I guess I’m surprised that the topic of this EP has been magnified by the state of our country. I expected the opposite.

“Pick Sides” has a very opposing and yet uniting elements to it. Is it hard to write songs with such juxtapositions lyrically and sonically?

“Pick Sides” is a song about our societal need to create binaries (republican/democrat, male/female, gay/straight, etc) and how those binaries keep us from truly understanding each other. To illustrate these dichotomies, I wanted to pair light-hearted melody lines with heavy lyrics. The song is about juxtapositions and writing with these juxtapositions is actually my comfort zone. I use them to ask questions.

What is one tip as an artist that you use to play/ create with different people and viewpoints, that you think humans could instill in themselves to get along with their neighbors?

It’s literally what we learn in kindergarten, but put yourself in someone else’s shoes. I think we could all afford to work on our empathy.

From your eyes what has been the hardest side to pick regarding your identity?

To speak my mind or not to speak my mind. As girls, we are taught to be polite and reserved. To listen first and let the boys speak over us. My biggest battle has been unlearning this.

What are some character traits that you think are holding back our current civilization?

I think fear is at the heart of every problem we face as a society. Fear of the other, fear of the unknown, fear of losing. It’s the foundation for every type of prejudice and I believe that it’s keeping us stuck.

What are your biggest fears about the world and life?

My biggest fear is that we will never experience true equality.

When can we expect your debut album?

Early 2018. Am in the writing stages now, but I can tell you now that the album is going to be about the evolution of the female.

How do you get in the mood to write music?

Throughout the day I collect ideas from books, podcasts, articles, and life observations. When it’s time to sit down and write I usually clear my head by meditating, dimming the lights and lighting candles… sounds way more erotic than it is… believe me.

What is the biggest inspiration around you right now?

Women who are making their voices heard.

Did it ever feel unnatural for you to take on a more activism role in your art?

I think a lot of artists are taking on activist roles because art imitates life, and there is a lot of work to be done in the world right now. It feels like our responsibility to make art about it and not ignore it.

What recent political sabotage has has you disheartened the most?

The Muslim (“travel”) ban was extremely disheartening. The lack empathy. It’s just not what our country stands for.

What is some advice you could give to other artists who want to pivot within their platform and use their voice?

There’s so much happening in this political landscape, it’s impossible to cover everything, so pick what your most passionate about and use your voice and platform to educate and connect with others.

What is one change that you are hoping for in the future in the political and civic realm?

I’m hoping that over the next four years we will ban together to resist policies that could harm marginalized groups. And then I hope that in four years we will elect a female president. Females will change the world, just you wait. - Ladygunn


Birch uses new single 'Pick Sides' to explore our societal need to create binaries (male/female, republican/democrat, straight/gay) and how those binaries keep us from truly understanding each other.

Last time we caught up with Birch, at the end of 2016, the New York synth pop group were coming to the end of a chapter. 'Pick Sides' is where the next chapter begins. Taken from their eagerly anticipated sophmore EP ‘Not Human’, the track sets the tone of what’s to come. Recording and performing as a duo, with Michelle Birsky still firmly at the helm, Birch have poured on lashings of electronics, debuting a slightly different sound.

In the wake of what can only be described as turbulent election in the USA, Birch have laced their newest offering with meaning. Whilst there is an obvious air of defiance and frustration in the lyrics, “and stop telling me what to with my body, it’s my fucking body”, the underlying message is one of coming together. We are all different, but accepting that without the need to define so rigidly the things that make us different.

The song lumbers in with a slow clap-click beat and the familiar Birch keyboards. Layers build gradually through the verses until everything peels back, leaving the slow boom-boom-boom of the bass drum and Michelle’s delicate vocals. The track builds again, falls away again, then ends with a long outro that explores the various synth sounds that appear in the earlier parts of the track. It’s almost a little bit like prog-rock.

Without a doubt, Birch’s new EP will be decidedly different to their debut EP, 'Halfway', but much like the lyrical themes of 'Pick Sides', the differences do not need to be defined or labelled to fit in the boxes that come attached to those labels. This is a different Birch. This is Birch. Human, or not. - When The Horn Blows

"EP Review: Birch - Not Human"

This EP is bursting with imagery and symbols of our reliance on ‘cell phones’; our devouring of ‘movies’ and all because of this digital age. However, disguised as a collection of love songs, or not, one cannot deny the undercurrent of politics, whether that be a battle of the sexes, or the war and terror we all are part of, just by being alive and at the mercy of our governments. Michelle is from New York, I am from York, UK. Our issues as women today, well, they overlap. Boys will love this EP, oh please go and listen guys, but ladies, you need a song or two to help you realise relationships or infatuation is a two-way cocktail? Listen to this:

Not Human, is Birch’s latest EP. It is as clever as it moving, melodic, rich with harmony and up-to-the-minute stylisation. Unlike the first EP I ever reviewed: Halfway; Not Human, sees Michelle’s voice elevated to almost childlike style vocals. It has been mixed, but to great effect. It almost sounds Eastern, like a young girl from Japan, which I love as it reminds me of Scarlett Johansson in the movie: Lost In Translation. We can leave Bill Murray out of this (!) but Johanssons’ perception of life, culture, relationships and fellow human beings, is not unlike the lyricism here. I just love it.

Track one, Same Colours, is most definitely my favourite, and in my humble opinion the right choice to start. The introduction is trademark synthy, but childlike, dreamy, and with steady beats. The stand out lyrics for me are: ‘Watching the same movie‘, ‘We see the same colours differently‘. For me, this means: We’re both seeing the same thing here, we’re the girl and the boy in the movie, but we don’t see eye-to-eye. The movie element is very telling. A bit like watching a soap opera between two ‘friends’ on facebook maybe? This couple have an audience. I just adore the fact that when the girl sings, male vocals answer back too. Very powerful. ‘We see this differently, I am not your enemy, how can I make you see?’ (Guy) The reply: ‘So I don’t have to see, alone’ (Girl). Just listen to it folks, it’s so very poignantly moving: an emotional tug-of-war.

Pick Sides, opens like a ticking clock and the lyrics relay the idea that in a relationship, everyone on the outside has an opinion. The female in the song is brave. ‘You said goodnight, if I run and hide’ but she doesn’t. She’s determined, intuitive. And the message: ‘It’s my fucking body!’ A real anti-misogynistic song this, and the instrumentation is simple, steady and effective. I think the backdrop though is very political ‘We pick sides, and confirm both our ears and our eyes’. I think this is no accidental line. Donald Trump is the president of Birch’s country. And his very presence divides this hugely powerful country.

Cell Phone is where the demonstrative technological images are simply undeniable. Smart phones they’re also called, and it made me think: Who decided to call them ‘smart’? Sometimes they really aren’t, but the flight mode option mostly definitely is, right? When you need to shut yourself out from the world. This track showcases the quickest tempo, like a rapid heartbeat. It’s about taking control, and owning a situation. The line ‘I don’t have to take your call’ can mean simply a person you know, and don’t want to speak to, or ignoring those who call from afar, politicians perhaps. I can think of some fabulous musicians in the electronic music field who I think would do some fabulous remixes of this. It’s beautiful, very 80s, a dance-floor filler. Madonna would be proud.

Nobody Lives Forever. Just the mere title suggests time is running out; act now, go with your gut before it’s too late. A warning as to how we should vote? There are lots of these fears across the planet. It’s on everyone’s lips and in everyone’s thoughts. ‘The fear of time, fear of failure, because nobody lives forever‘ ‘We’re terrified‘. Again, the right choice to close the EP. Terrified? I am. Of my future; the election here in The UK is about to be announced, hours away from now, as I type this, but: ‘Darling you’re not alone‘. Yes, thank you Birch, we’re never alone if we surround ourselves with the right people; those who show us love and respect. Thank you for this EP, Birch. I look forward to receiving mine in the post. - Popped Music

"Excited About: Birch – Not Human (EP)"

There is something remarkable to the way Michelle Birsky, singer and songwriter in the Brooklyn duo Birch delivers the songs on their latest EP “Not Human”: the four tracks feature bright, soaring vocals and synths, yet the lyrics speak of disorientation and social dysfunction. That increases the the impact of the message, but maybe it also expresses the odd gap between our daily lives and what we are reading in the news.

Check out photos from Birch at their enchanting show at The Delancey.

Get into the groove of things by listening to the first track “Same Colors”, showcasing Michelle’s dazzling vocals, alternating with Mat Towles’ soulful ones, creating a charming pop song with lyrical depth: - GlamGlare

"Birch - Not Human EP"

A portmanteau of her name Michelle Birksy, Birch is the New York duo of vocalist Michelle Birsky joined by her musical accomplice Mat Towles. On her latest EP “Not Human”, Birch writes music indicative of the times, whether they be loosely about America’s political situation or the disconnect of living in a digital age. Spacious, resonant electro pop is followed a sweetened falsetto that spills over frosted 80′s synths and the light rummage of its muted percussion.

You can check out Birch’s “Not Human” below followed by the comments Birsky gave us on each of the songs: - At Cost Magazine

"Synth-pop artist, Birch drops new single, plays Mercury Lounge 2/25"

Brooklyn-based artist Birch's new single, "Pick Sides" arrives at an exceptionally divisive point in our country's history. While most people find themselves plagued with a robust outpouring of facebook fights focused on politics, social constructs, or the full gamut in between, Michelle Birsky--the synth-pop artist behind the musical project--turns her attention to the binary ways of thinking that create the false dichotomies that divide us. The single proves to be a bit more pop-minded than her previous releases, but the gravity of the subject blends seamlessly into her infectious melodies, and truly showcases her songwriting prowess. You can catch Birch live at the Mercury Lounge 2/25 alongside, Controller and Madeline Mondrala, but also click the play button to stream her below.-Olivia Sisinni - The Deli Magazine

"Birch "Human""

Birch – the musical project of Michelle Birsky and Mat Towles – has been hard at work on their forthcoming EP Not Human. As if to instigate more discussion around the name of the EP, we’ve got the exclusive premiere of their stand-alone track and precursor to the EP – “Human” – right here.

Heavy synth, entrancing percussion. Michelle’s ethereal voice comes in, high pitched and creating an ambiance of serenity across the sound space, despite lines like “just like the killer / he’s got to pass a thousand people before he picks one / to stuff into the basement floor.” (Yup. It gets intense.) The narrative is incredibly intricate, but there are aspects of it that everyone can relate to (i.e. “but you kept your head in the clouds / with your eyes to the ground”).

“‘Human’ is a song about the ways in which we are all one, though in such politically and socially tumultuous times it can be impossible to recognize,” elaborates Michelle. “I wrote the song last year – it began as I was walking around my neighborhood in Brooklyn thinking about how strange it is that, in such a populated city, we pass hundreds of other humans per day without acknowledging their existence. I was struck with the realization that we all walk the same streets, we all breathe the same air, we all want and strive, we’re all made up of molecules: we are all one. ‘Human’ is a moment of clarity in a chaotic world.” - Impose Magazine

"City Sounds: Birch connects with Brooklyn passerby on new electronic pop song ‘Human’"

It’s been more than a year since Brooklyn’s Birch have released new music, and the band’s new song, “Human,” has us excited for what’s to come on their upcoming 2017 EP, Not Human. As the brainchild of Michelle Birsky, Birch’s sound pulls heavily from electronic, rock, and pop influences, and that’s quite apparent in the new single.

“Human”, which you can hear below and on Soundcloud, takes a slower, synth-infused start with seemingly ominous words, then seamlessly transitions into a melodic chorus filled to the brim with percussion and guitar elements. Birch’s music often delves into the inner workings of the human psyche and how that translates into the physical world, and “Human” is no divergence. Though made up of mostly cryptic lyrics, the song acknowledges the human components that connect all of us.

“I wrote the song last year — it began as I was walking around my neighborhood in Brooklyn thinking about how strange it is that, in such a populated city, we pass hundreds of other humans per day without acknowledging their existence,” says Birsky via Impose Magazine. “I was struck with the realization that we all walk the same streets, we all breathe the same air, we all want and strive, we’re all made up of molecules: we are all one.” - Vanyaland

"Halfway (EP Stream)"

Earlier this summer we premiered Birch's video for the charming track "Halfway". It was so impressive that when the opportunity to premiere the band's new EP of the same name, we weren't going to say no.
Led by Vermont native Michelle Birsky, Birch is rounded out by bassist Matt Towles and guitarist Emma Munger, and as you'll hear, they love to dabble in various forms of indie rock, and do it all very well. "Fighting Words" blends rock guitar and electronic music similar to St. Vincent. Carolyn incorporates new romantic synths and classic rock 'n' roll balladry, while "Halfway" heads straight into Dum Dum Girls/Jenny Lewis indie pop, and "Window(less)" is a wonderfully bombastic ballad in the vein of Best Coast. Birsky and her band shows admirable range, but at the same time there's a keen focus on songwriting quality that maintains a sense of consistency amidst all the variety.
"I see the Halfway EP as a symbol of the gradual formation of Birch," Birsky says. "When I came to Ariel Loh (our producer) with this idea back in November 2014, I had different songs, bandmates, and ideas. As the band grew and evolved, new songs were written and old ones discarded. Because we took our time recording (the full process began in January and ended in July) we were able to create a clear voice and find the right musicians to make it all come to light.” - Pop Matters

"Birch Share Their Fantastic New Single "Halfway""

Birch is a new band out of Brooklyn headed by Michelle Birsky . She started the band last fall, and since then has been working with different musicians trying to find the right fit. Michelle finally found that fit with bassist Matt Towles of LA and guitarist Emma Munger of NY.

Michelle wrote the song “Halfway” last year while spending 2 weeks alone in a cabin in Vermont. She went there to write, to rest her voice, and to gain a little perspective after her first year living in NY. The narrative of the song begins on a hike she went on by herself, up the backside of Okemo Mountain. She got about 2 miles up the mountain, realized how completely, utterly alone she was, got freaked the fuck out and ran back down. Either the woods rejected her or her mind got her her way. The rest of the song deals with the idea that there are two sides to the human mind, and they are constantly in battle. Michelle wanted to reflect this sonically by combining naturalist lyrics of roads and mountains with synthesized, man made sounds.

“The song is about inner turmoil- only it all takes place under the thin blanket of a pop tune, so maybe nobody will ever notice how fucked up my brain is.”

We here at Pancakes And Whiskey, think this is quite impressive for their first tune and can’t wait to hear more from Birch. We’ll be catching back up soon, so stay tuned. - Pancakes And Whiskey

"Birch introduce "knockout song" with "fantastic, stylish" video from forthcoming debut"

Brooklyn, NY group Birch premiere the first video from their forthcoming debut today via PopMatters. The clip for the incredibly contagious first single "Halfway" is available to watch and share HERE. (Direct YouTube HERE.)

Birch is the project of singer/songwriter Michelle Birsky. The band, which includes Mat Towles on bass and Emma Munger on guitar blends elements of rock, pop, singer/songwriter, and electronica, never quite settling on one genre. With ambient electronic instrumentation, lush vocal looping, and unconventional song form, Birch seeks to create a unique, contemporary sound while maintaining the strength and significance of traditional songwriting.

After graduating college with a degree in music composition, Birsky moved to Brooklyn in pursuit of a music community. After working at a commercial music house, music supervising an indie film, and landing an internship with film composer Elliot Goldenthal, Birsky decided to pursue her own music - and thus Birch was born. In August of 2014, she went on a two-week solo, silent retreat to her parent's house in Vermont where she began working on songs for Birch's debut.

Since the writing process began in Vermont, a place Michelle spent most of her childhood, much of the music is centered around the theme of past and present. In fact, the name "Birch" comes from Vermont and is based on three storm-weathered birch trees that sat at the bottom of her family's yard for years, their tops bent nearly to the ground, but never falling over.

The songs themselves are a combination of narrative and emotional storytelling. Each song is based on a specific story, but the lyrics can be elusive at times, triggering emotion rather than a specific narrative. "Halfway", for example, is based on Michelle's time in Vermont and is about the places your mind goes when it is left alone for extended periods of time. "Fighting Words" is an angst-y tribute to her hometown in Connecticut and draws from stories of her peers who grew up with ultra-conservative parents. Throughout the four songs of the EP, there are underlying dichotomies: past vs. present, nature vs. metropolis, acoustic vs. electronic, as well as the underlying theme of growing up in a digital age and what it's like to be young now.

After returning to Brooklyn, Birsky teamed up with producer Ariel Loh from the band Stone Cold Fox to begin recording the EP. Loh helped bring electronic elements into Birch's sound, further highlighting the themes of time and place. Birsky had multiple musicians play on the recordings and live set before current guitarist Emma Munger and bassist Mat Towles joined the band. Having gone to college with Emma and met Mat when she first moved to Brooklyn, Birsky continues its basis as a personal endeavor, expanding slowly in the world at large.

Birch's 4-song debut, Halfway will be available for download on August 28th, 2015. - Us and Them Group


Still working on that hot first release.



Birch is the project of singer/songwriter Michelle Birsky with bandmate Mat Towles. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Birch has been evolving since 2015, putting out two EPs and playing countless shows around New York and the North East. 

In 2017, Birch's sophomore EP, Not Human had the internet buzzing and Birch was named The Deli Magazine's "Best Emerging Artist". Since then, Birch has been written about on many notable music blogs like The 405, Galore Mag, Ladygunn and more. They've performed sold-out shows at venues like Mercury Lounge and Baby's All Right, as well as a Communion Music showcase at Rockwood Music Hall.

Their upcoming offering will be their debut LP, "" - a feminist concept album about the trajectory of the female experience (out in 2018). The sound of this album, and Birch's live set, sits somewhere between Daughter and Beach House. A five-piece band, the instrumentation is lush and blends electronic and acoustic elements. Synthesizer pads, guitar, and Birsky's electronic looped vocals blend seamlessly with acoustic drums, horn and bass.  

If you're interested in booking Birch and would like to hear songs from their upcoming album, please email for a link! 

Band Members