From Bergen, Norway
Formed in the fall of 2002, by Erik Olaus, Markus Scholz and Kjersti Olsen.
Erik Olaus had earlier been in the band Honeymoon Ruin, a mid to late 80s garage – prairie rock outfit. They disbanded in 1988/89. A compilation CD ’Honeymoon Ruin 1986 – 1988’ was released several years later in 2006. Remnants of this band became Blue Moon Dreams, and some following band projects saw the light of day in the early 90s: Moondog Matinee, Mystery Garden, Silver Moon.
Then in 1998, he co formed with musician friends the band Spring Jester. Markus Scholz also became a part of this band. They released 3 EPs, ’Carnival’(2001) being the most notable. At this time Olaus also had a short lived band side project, Moonflowers, with two of the members from the earlier Honeymoon Ruin. They recorded a 60s influenced EP, ’Moonflowers’(2002). He also around this time had a solo project under the name Moon Illusion, released the album ’Estranged’(2002).
Autumn of 2002, some time after the split up of Spring Jester, Paynbird was formed together with Markus Scholz and Kjersti Olsen.
Markus Scholz had earlier been in a band called Potempkin and parallell with Paynbird he was also in a band called My Misspent Youth, who released an EP ’Six Point eight’(2006), and the album, ’Colours Gone Cold’ (2012). He also has a P. J. Harvey tribute band called Polly’s Jeans.
Kjersti Olsen came from an artistic and musical background, and with her moody voice contributed to the bands rather melancholic sound.
The music of Paynbird was labeled as the indie /alternative genre of rock, with a certain dark introspect underlying mood. They released a 5 track EP ’Veil’ (2003), and two years later the CD ’The Street Of Seven Stars’ (2005). Both did recieve very positive reviews in the press and mags.
Excerpt from the american magazine ’It’s a trap’
“Paynbird and their debut album “The street of seven stars”. Comparisons don’t immediately come to mind, but the band offers a leisurely paced brand of introspective, jangly indie rock that blends acoustic and electric guitars roughly equally. Vocalist Kjersti Olsen has presence and emotional focus, although I wouldn’t call hers a “classic voice” (it’s just a shade too weary). But the arrangements are appealing and the production typically bright and clear. Three listens reveal this album to be a real grower, the kind of thing that’ll insinuate itself into your subconscious and sound really great on some moody afternoon. Gotta love that Nordic melancholy!”
– Kevin Renick
In the United States, the band had one of their songs ’South Bay’, (being) used as a backing track for the Utah State radio and TV promotion campaign, running on the U. S. national network through the spring and summer of 2008.
Their music has also been used in national broadcasting TV series in Norway, because of many of their songs atmospheric and picturesque mood.
The band has over the years been seen more as a studio project, but still with its original members, continuing their release of new material.
Late december 2012 the CD ’Eschatosophia’ was in print, and ready for 2013 release.
A rather ambitious concept album, composed of as many as 18 tracks. The album is an introvert journey of existensialism and desolation, in a world difficult to come to terms with. A pretentious work, strangely fragmenteted, consisting of songs with clear hints to the 60s naivistic guitar jangling pop sounds. A touch of Byrds and Searchers, the Mamas & Papas, and even further back to the 50s twangin’ vibes of Duane Eddy. But a weird uneasy undercurrent is most of the time looming in the background, and sometimes that nerve resurfaces and manifests itself into strange dark spiritual hymns and gothic moods.
Excerpts from reviews of ’Eschatosophia’
”An exciting and varied album, well worth investigating”
Bergens Tidende (January 26 2013)
”A rock solid conceptalbum.” ”Imagine Low or Red House Painters stumbling over ancient Lee Hazelwood records in the attic”. 6/6