Usher and Pitts during a van breakdown in Arizona

As far as influences go, the band cites Tyrannosaurus Rex, before it became the glam band T. Rex. “They were just a crazy psyche band,” says Usher. They’ve also taken cues from Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon.

One can hear the folk influence in the assured and multifaceted harmonies of Birdlips’ music.

However, Birdlips shies away from any easy categorization. “Whenever we play with folk bands, it doesn’t seem like a good match,” says Usher. “We’re more in the indie rock realm.”

Their main influence, at the moment, is the people they’ve met and the places they’ve seen along the way. “The most recent song we wrote was about a couple we stayed with in Phoenix who were struck by lightning,” says Usher.

Next stop: Pensacola, Fla. There’s a relative there whose condo needs watching over. Says Usher, “We’re taking in inspiration everywhere we go.”

LISTEN

This Birdlips song, “Comeback Kid,” was recorded and mixed in Charlottesville by Thomas Orgren (Col ’06). Steve Snider (Col ’04) played drums on the track.

This new Birdlips song, “Thunderbolt,” was written and recorded in August in Los Angeles as part of the Drift Project. The lyrics are about friends of Usher and Pitts in Phoenix who were struck by lightning.