“Bird City” is the banjo/tenor guitar project of Jenny Mitchell, a Guelph-Ontario based songwriter who commonly performs as Jenny Omnichord, and fronts the indie band “The Barmitzvah Brothers” among her many musical projects. During the Barmitzvah Brother’s ten years of actively playing, they released 6 full-length records which saw great success on cross-canada campus radio, making it to #2 on the earshot charts, and being reviewed by publications from across Canada, the US and Europe including Exclaim!, Chart Attack, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and Now Magazine (cover feature). Touring nationally and internationally, the group shared bills with award-winning artists including the Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett, Great Lake Swimmers, MGMT and Grizzly Bear.
Under the monicker “Jenny Omnichord”, Jenny has been actively playing and touring for eleven years, releasing four full-length records. One of which won the “Chart attack Sizzler award” while another was made up of 18 duets with award winning Canadian songwriters including Shad, Old Man Leudecke, Kim Barlow, and Jim Guthrie. With a strong following in Canada, she raised over $5500 on Kickstarter to produce a triple gatefold Vinyl record which doubled as a Cross-Canada Board game which she released on “Label Fantastic! – an independent label-collective she runs with fellow musicians and arts administrators, Chris Adeney (Wax Mannequin) and Mathias Kom (The Burning Hell).
With “Bird City” Jenny moves beyond her quirky omnichord project, playing sparse, personal songs on the banjo and tenor guitar. These songs have always been part of her songwriting process, but while her autobiographical and indie-pop songs would easily find a home on the omnichord or with her band, these exposed and poetic songs of paranoia, heart break and self-wondering have been carefully set aside. Jenny has been writing these songs and developing this project for nearly 15 years, and is ready to bring the project to the audience it deserves.
Of the project, Jenny says, “Bird City has kind of been around forever. Back around the early days of being in a band, definitely before I ever pulled out a solo omnichord, always accompanying me but simultaneously freaking me out. Every time I pick up a guitar or banjo I think about everybody who has ever played a guitar or banjo. That’s a lot of pressure. I used to think about these things a lot during my milk-run bus trips between Guelph and London. And it seemed like every time I looked out the window I caught the silhouette of an almost hidden bird of prey. Bird City is my comfort in knowing that there can be millions of similar things, and a single one in any given moment can still strike you as the most unique and beautiful thing in the world.”