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2023 NSMZ Folk/Roots Artist of the Year: Last Birds

by Scott Roos

photo by Aston Istace

With the recent sophomore release of Endless Turn of Day Into Night the North Portal duo of Mike Davis and Lindsay Arnold, aka Last Birds, have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they can compose and perform folk music of the highest order. With just their voices, in signature close harmony, and a pair of acoustic guitars the overall tone that’s set throughout the album is as emotive and expansive as the prairie sunset. The stripped down delivery allows room for their songs to breathe. The guitarwork has a brevity to it. There’s no note wasted. Melodically there’s memorable hooks. There’s a fluidity to everything which makes their music highly listenable and enjoyable.

At the same time, they are able to draw you in during their live performances as well. With Last Birds, what you see and hear is what you get. In other words, the way they pull off the songs on the record will be exactly how they pull them off live. There’s an honesty to what they do on stage that proves very engaging to their audiences which makes them one of Saskatchewan’s essential folk acts.

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