Birds and Arrows
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Birds and Arrows

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States | INDIE

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Rock

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Apr
22
Birds and Arrows @ Shakori Hills Music Festival

Silk Hope, North Carolina, USA

Silk Hope, North Carolina, USA

Mar
12
Birds and Arrows @ The Green Bean

Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Feb
11
Birds and Arrows @ The ArtsCenter

Carrboro, North Carolina, USA

Carrboro, North Carolina, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


“The band has a knack for writing fantastic, simple folk songs, then expand them into moody, ethereal compositions that make them special.” - Triangle Music Blog


“The band has a knack for writing fantastic, simple folk songs, then expand them into moody, ethereal compositions that make them special.” - Triangle Music Blog


"Built on telling lyrical details and with smartly economic swells, it's the best moment of the band's career, a promise that they've got real range." Grayson Currin - INDEPENDENT WEEKLY


“The honeymoon sweetness of their earlier work has been replaced with a maturity and depth appropriate for musicians whose lives and work are gaining seriousness and acclaim.” - WUNC/NPR


The packaging for Woodgrain Heart, the debut EP from Chapel Hill duo Birds & Arrows, consists of a slim cardboard sleeve that's been spray painted a deep cerulean shade, the band's name written in a comfortable, slightly sloppy script across the top in coarse black marker. A rudimentary cutout of a human heart printed onto the sort of lumber laminate you'd use to line kitchen cabinets sits at the middle. Tucked inside, the liner notes are printed onto a single sheet of tawny paper with doodles and lyrics and acknowledgments packed onto one side, pictures of price tags and the band set in a grid on the other. It's a decidedly handmade production, the sort of thing bandmates attached at the hip make while watching the sun come up, an old record spinning on a nearby stereo.

Indeed, Pete and Andrea Connolly (neé Nell) wed in October, becoming the most recent addition to the Triangle's excellent collegium of married bands that includes The Rosebuds, Work Clothes and Waumiss. And their work—warm, emotional, poetic folk music played tenderly and gingerly—thrives on the relationship's intimacy, spinning songs from domestic images like the blue flickering flame of a gas burner and the trove of persistent memories that remain like love's kindling. Andrea, who sings and plays guitar in the bluegrass quartet Sweet By & By, takes the lead on three of the EP's six tracks, turning in a slow-burning performance on opener "Garden Shed" and layering her reverb-tinged vocals over banjo and handclaps on the title track. With a voice that's as workmanlike as it is worn, Pete adds a jangly lift to his tracks, like the mandolin-abetted "Old Man Winter" or the structurally convoluted "Black Shoes." But, as things should be, the Connollys sound best when they sing together, their complementary voices wrapping together in rustic contentment and comfort, like a happy pair making music because that's how love makes them feel. These six splendid songs beg for those feelings to continue." Grayson Currin

- INDEPENDENT WEEKLY


“Birds and Arrows played at Open Eye, blending its soulful melodies with the occasional whir of an espresso machine. As singer Andrea Connolly crooned, husband Pete Connolly contributed on drums. While the cellist (Josh Starmer) who played with the couple wasn’t a part of the marital bliss, the combined sounds of guitar, drums, and cello made for music that could strike love into the heart of any embittered Carrboro townie. A constant stream of people entered the coffee shop throughout the set, and at the end of Birds and Arrows’ performance, the venue was packed with standing festival attendees.” - Daily Tar Heel


Two Chapel Hill bands, Butterflies, and Birds & Arrows, related by blood and musical affiliation have put together an EP of original and traditional Christmas songs. The five song album will be released at the Christmas at the Cradle show
as a download code and available as a download at bandcamp.com.
The performers involved have lent a personal touch (‘Our Christmas’)
to the songs as well a little humor with a backwoods version of ‘The Chipmunk Song’. ‘Christmas Morning’ is an original song by Butterflies and its tender delivery by singer Josh Kimbrough and its easy melody feels like an old Buddy Holly number. The take on ‘Christmas Time is Here’ is close to the one we all know but their high-pitched and slow jazz version still brings to mind lightly falling snow and
walking at night during the holidays. But the album’s real charmer is ‘Our
Christmas” by Birds and Arrows. Pete and Andrea Connolly trade thoughts on the fun and the duties of Christmas. Pete sings – “I’m not ready for Christmas this year/Has it really been a year?…I’m drinking way too much beer….This box of crap/
All the things you’ve got to wrap.” This is all sung with delicate aplomb and when Pete stops Andrea’s soulful and heavenly singing makes it hard to hear her words. It’s a sweet song, and her singing will entice to find their other albums. Songs to Trim Your Tree By is a homemade collection of ageless holiday songs.
Brian Tucker/Bootleg Magazine - BOOTLEG MAGAZINE


"Starmaker, the full-length debut from young duo Birds & Arrows, plays like a scrapbook that chronicles the love and lives of husband and wife Pete and Andrea Connolly. Both the album art and songs are deeply personal, edging on voyeuristic at times, but offering a sort of universal truth for their intimacy. On the title track, Andrea and Pete sing in unison, identifying God as the “starmaker” who pushes a pin through black paper like on a schoolchild’s art project. By casting God as the craft artist, the Connollys afford themselves the power to create their own world, one of instant nostalgia and familiarity, not unlike the best of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. Artwork of Native Americans and spaceships collides with lyrics about traveling and love. Birds & Arrows’ domain is strange and beautiful, full of wide-eyed wonder.

On “Honeymoon Song,” they describe a broad and encompassing world, singing, “In a place so old with a life so new, it was all.” Still, Andrea picks out minute details, like stopping the car every few miles because it was smoking. The specificity paints an intimate portrait, offering an inlet into the couple’s private life. Andrea’s strummed guitar begins the track, which grows in layers—cello, piano and pedal steel as ornaments, then Pete’s simple tribal drumming on tom-toms. Add all the sounds in the world, though, and the excitement in “Honeymoon Song” stems from the palpable connection between the couple. Pete joins Andrea on harmony vocals, helping lift the line, “It was all,” into “It was always you.”

The singing throughout Starmaker is fantastic. Andrea’s voice is clear, full and stunning, seemingly designed for melancholic anthems and slow-burning love songs. With sand on his vocal chords, Pete delivers lyrics with a rootsy, quiet confidence that balances Andrea in an unexpectedly appealing way. He even tackles lead vocals on a few songs, including “Monkey Brother,” a song about his estranged adopted brother who died last year.

While the band is essentially a guitar-drums duo, “Ripe and Ruptured” features Latin-inspired claves and ooh-la-las. Coldplay could even cover “Company Keep.” The music refuses to stand still, mirroring the album’s uniting motif of drives—or, more generally, movement and progression. The theme comes to fruition on “Daisy Renee,” a joyous country ode to an old car. “Send her home,” the Connollys call together, echoing Tom Waits and Neil Young’s old-world automobile nostalgia. The ‘64 Oldsmobile can be imagined heading off into the glowing sunset.

Primal and passionate, expectant and hopeful, Birds & Arrows’ Starmaker is a Victorian curio cabinet filled with personal moments and universal emotions"
ALBUM REVIEW by ANDREW RICHEY of Independent Weekly
STARMAKER was INDEPENDENT WEEKLY’s ALBUM of the MONTH for OCTOBER 2009 - INDEPENDENT WEEKLY


“There is a violent tension in the moniker Birds and Arrows, but the music that couple Pete and Andrea Connolly craft, spins that friction away from brutality and into elegant, elemental heights. If you take even just one passing listen to their music, it’s apparent these are voices that aren’t in harmony so much as interlocked. It’s as if two people wandering around the woods suddenly came upon each other and realized they were singing the same song– a romantic image made all the more apropos because Pete and Andrea are newlyweds.
Cute personal history aside, it’s the instrumental textures and intimate lyrics that should really catch your attention. From their debut EP Woodgrain Heart to their latest full length Starmaker, the Connolly’s have dreamed up what can only (to my ear) be described as a shimmering deconstructed pop-country sound. There’s a grounded, vintage tone to the arrangements, but a spacey, voyeuristic disconnect in the translation. All in all, it’s a head-scratchingly beautiful mess of music”
Ashley Melzer THE MILL (1-27-10) - THE MILL


“There’s a sepia-toned but strong-willed romanticism to the texture- and harmony-rich tunes of Birds and Arrows, the duo of Andrea and Pete Connolly. Inside these pop-righteous, country-graceful numbers, they keep each other awake on long road trips and rejoice even in the sight of peril, one’s voice bolstering the other like lifelong support.” Grayson Currin INDEPENDENT WEEKLY (1-20-10) - INDEPENDENT WEEKLY


“Last May, the Chapel Hill band Birds and Arrows made an instant fan out of me with a show at the Metro Gallery, previewing material from the great album Starmaker that was released a few months later. So when the husband and wife duo of Pete and Andrea Connolly returned to Baltimore for a show at the Windup Space, I was hoping to hear the songs from that album again.

Instead, Birds and Arrows, now filled out to a trio with cellist Josh Starmer giving their live sound a bit more texture and low end, filled their set with unreleased songs once again, from a new album they’re heading into the studio to record soon. And while it would’ve been nice to hear more from Starmaker than just the closing song of the set, “Picnic In the Graveyard,” it’s hard to complain about hearing exciting new tunes such as “Arrows” and “Mountain Air.” The band members wore some kind of tribal warpaint on their faces, which looked somewhat at odds with their relaxed, rustic sound, but that didn’t detract from the charms of Andrea Connolly’s soothing voice and intoxicating melodies, or Pete Connolly’s subtle drumming and complementary harmonies.” Al Shipley, BALTIMORE CITY PAPER 9.10 - Baltimore City Paper


“Suspend disbelief and enter- if only for 47 pretty minutes- a world where road trips against all odds are gorgeously strung metaphors” Grayson Currin, SHUFFLE MAGAZINE 9.10 - SHUFFLE MAGAZINE


Discography

BIRDS and ARROWS "self titled" EP 307 KNOX RECORDS
BIRDS and ARROWS "Woodgrain Heart" EP 307 KNOX RECORDS
BIRDS and ARROWS "Starmaker" (debut full length record) 307 KNOX RECORDS
BIRDS and ARROWS "Pride of Lions" (7in. vinyl single) 307 KNOX RECORDS
BIRDS and ARROWS "We're Gonna Run" (second full length LP) 307 KNOX RECORDS

Photos

Bio

BIRDS and ARROWS (of 307 KNOX Records) create unique music that is "full of romance and energy", "enchanting", and "the kind you fall in love with".  The trio, based in Chapel Hill, NC, is Andrea Connolly(vocals and guitar), Pete Connolly(vocals and drums) and Josh Starmer(cello), and together they create a rich sound that is much more than the sum of their parts.  The romance between Andrea and Pete's voices is distinctly captivating and intertwines with beautiful yet haunting cello melodies.  BIRDS and ARROWS accomplish an elegant, warm sound that is truly their own. Their compelling and road tested live show appeals to a surprisingly wide range of audiences; they are the cherished rock band for folk lovers and the favorite folk group for rock fans.
The group was formed in 2007 by husband and wife Andrea and Pete Connolly who  released 2 critically acclaimed EPs.  The first eponymous EP documents the strained conditions under which the two first met, while "Woodgrain Heart" tells of how the two grew together. Grayson Currin praised "Woodgrain Heart" as "complementary voices wrapping together in rustic contentment and comfort, like a happy pair making music because that’s how love makes them feel."  Josh joined the group on cello during the recording of the band's first full length record "Starmaker" in 2009, expanding the narrative to describe tales of coming of age while still remaining intensely personal.  Upon its release, "Starmaker" was picked by the Independent Weekly as the "Album of the Month".   With multiple east coast and mid-west tours under their belts, the band is now in the final stages of completing their sophomore release "We're Gonna Run", due out this spring.  "We are very excited about this record," says singer Andrea Connolly. "we feel extremely proud of the material, it shows we are continuing to develop our distinct sound while still staying very honest. This new record is another collection of stories from our lives making it very telling of the joys and sorrows we experienced over the past year".
"We're Gonna Run" is out now on 307 KNOX Records.