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Husband & Wife Team 'Birds of Chicago' Bring Power Back to Lyrics

Birds of Chicago seek to harness the power of music and words to reassert their place in a world filled with insignificant online communication.

The term that sometimes gets used to describe their music is “secular gospel,” but there’s really a lot more in evidence from the music cooked up by husband-and-wife JT Nero and Allison Russell.  They came together in Chicago from different parts of the continent and different musical projects and pulled together a band that is figuratively (and literally) family.

"The music came first and the friendship came first. The romance kind of blossomed out of that down the line," says Russell.  Although, she admits there was some hesitation to commit to a serious relationship because they "were so afraid of messing up the musical connection" they established.

Nero first worked worked with Russell as her song writer, and her voice was perfect for his unique spiritual rock and roll.

"She's just one of my favorite voices and the more we sang together, the more I kind of internalized what I feel like is her voice and her perspective to some degree," says Nero. "So songs more often than not kind of pop out that way - I hear Allie singing them from the get-go."

Birds of Chicago's newest album, Real Midnight, was recorded without over-rehearsing each song in order to capture the moments when songs truly came together over the course of four and a half days. For Russell, mixing these songs essentially live made for a recording experience "more of a pleasure than any recording experience I have been privy too."

Birds of Chicago perform "Dim Star of the Palisades" live in the Lake Effect performance studio.

Birds of Chicago perform the title track of their new record, "Real Midnight."

Birds of Chicago perform "Remember Wild Horses" in the Lake Effect performance studio.