Lowell's motto is "Art is the Handmaid of Human Good," and seeing that the city is the birthplace of Jack Kerouac, Bette Davis and the American Industrial Revolution, it's spot-on.
Lowell is also where the chamber-pop band Birdsong At Morning draws its inspiration as a part of the growing community of artists and musicians moved by the heritage and the spirit of renewal evidenced around them.
Birdsong At Morning earlier this month released a new album, "Signs and Wonders," a carefully crafted and richly textured work featuring a lush 20-piece string orchestra. The Boston Herald describes the band's sound as "gentle and mellifluous, a slow drift down a lazy river.
The two-disc CD/Blu-ray package, recorded in high-resolution surround-sound to highlight the masterful audio quality of the music, is available on iTunes.
The band also released a video for the first single off the album, "Extraordinary."
"Signs and Wonders" is the follow-up to 2015's "A Slight Departure," of which Pop Dose said, "a serious, ponderous and lush piece of work that will make you stop in your tracks and pay very careful attention."
The band is led by Alan Williams, who wrote and sings the songs, created the string arrangements, conducted the orchestra, co-engineered, produced and mixed the albums. Joining him are bassist Greg Porter, who has worked with Aimee Mann and Patty Griffin, and guitarist Darleen Wilson, who has worked with Patty Larkin and Catie Curtis.
Also on the new album are drummer Ben Wittman (Sting, Paul Simon, Paula Cole) and guitarist Thomas Juliano (Talking to Animals, Seven Mary Three).
It was recorded by legendary Boston musician/producer David Minehan of The Neighborhoods and The Replacements), and mastered by Grammy winner Adam Ayan, who has mastered many award-winning recordings.
In addition to fronting Birdsong At Morning, Williams also holds a full-time position as chairman of the Music Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.