“I feel a deep connection to our natural world and am constantly inspired to write about her,” Alex Paul tells American Songwriter. “One day, I heard the word ‘psithurism’ and that got me thinking of this imagined love story between the wind and a tree.”
Defined as “the sound of rustling leaves in the wind,” once Paul got ruminating on “psithurism,” it didn’t take long for him to plant the seeds of a new song for his Colorado-based folk band, Birds of Play. Setting up shop in the small, Colorado town, Ophir—in the heart of the San Juan Mountains—he started writing by playing around on his guitar, searching for the right words. Eventually, the band’s new single “Gale and Doug” fell right out.
“I’ve written a few tunes in this vein imagining more intimate or romantic relationships between elements or features of our resplendent planet,” Paul says. “My hope is that these songs help to instill in people even a little bit of reverence for the majesty and magnificence of our world that I feel.”
The ethos of love and an appreciation for nature endows “Gale and Doug” with a special, earthy feeling, but the musicianship exhibited is what really makes the track something extraordinary. The gentle mandolin picking and the cooing acoustic guitar lines fall together in a gorgeous cascade, like a serene creek babbling in the woods. Over top, Paul’s smooth and steady voice carries a sense of sincerity that’s a true rarity.
In a grander sense, perhaps “Gale and Doug” is something like an ideal love song—a love between elements speaks to something so much bigger than any individual person. Coming ahead of Birds of Play’s new LP, Murmurations Vol. 1 (due later in September), it serves as a warm welcome to the rich world of songs Paul and his bandmates have crafted.
Birds of Play’s new single “Gale and Doug” is out now—listen to it below: