If you wonder what Silvereye is, or if it is an actual word, Frank Burkitt of The Frank Burkitt Band explains what is behind the title of the band’s new album: “The silvereye is a common but very beautiful small bird that you find all over New Zealand and Australia. Silvereye uses this bird as a metaphor for all the good things in the world. It seemed to symbolise hope, beauty and innocence and we wanted to capture that.”
Ok, but then you might wonder what is the connection between Manchester-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Frank Burkitt and vocalist/flautist Kara Filbey with a bird from New Zealand? Well, at a time when The Frank Burkitt Band had more than the two members it does now, it was actually formed in New Zealand where they, after their first album Fools & King reached #12 in New Zealand charts in 2015, won a prize as the Best Folk Artist of 2019 and toured across New Zealand, Australia and UK. Throughout Silvereye, we really get the indication of why The Frank Burkitt Band won that folk music prize in New Zealand.
Silvereye is a cosy, intimate and warmly subdued album with mostly acoustic instrumentation and dual vocals by Burkitt and Filbey. Still, the arrangements throughout add the necessary musical elements to make the music interesting and engaging. The intention is to put the accent on the vocals, and the lyrics within works exactly as they should.
Fact: Frank actually wrote the title track after the horrific shootings that occurred in March 2019 in Christchurch, NZ. Burkitt shares that “as the events of 2020 unfolded, this song seemed to fit with what a lot of people went through in the pandemic…” It was also the year Burkitt and Filbey relocated to Manchester and recorded the album.
Commenting on the songs here, Burkitt says, “this album is by far the most intimate, sentimental and personally revealing I have ever released. Introspective and extremely indulgent but also crucial for my mental sanity. If one person out there can get any sort of healing or common ground from any of these songs then I will be deeply honoured and touched.” Agreed, it is introspective and does build common ground with its listeners.