Gemma Cockrell
Gemma Cockrell

Music journalist based in Nottingham. If I’m not listening to music, I’m watching Formula 1.


Bristol-based alternative quintet Birdman Cult today released their first single of 2022, titled ‘Ferryman’, on Donut Records, accompanied by striking artwork courtesy of illustrator Scott Balmer. The track was produced by their long-time collaborator Luke Wookash, and it follows their previous single ‘Roll It Up & Tuck It In’, which was released in May of last year.

Of the new track, the band’s frontman Joe explains: “The track is a big doom laden rock anthem, an existential reflection brought on by living through a global pandemic and pending WW3”. The track communicates these modern, topical and relevant themes through referencing the classic myth of Charon the Ferryman, and the fee of two coins that must be paid to cross from the world of the living to the world of the dead.

The track begins with layered vocals that echo eerily over a minimalistic instrumental for the first minute and a half, generating a sense of anticipation and foreboding. Then, the fuzzy guitar riffs and driving bassline that are to be expected of Birdman Cult based on their previous releases are introduced as the first verse begins, and the track adopts a regular, chugging rhythm, almost like a chant.

This unique structure that the track follows marks ‘Ferryman’ as Birdman Cult’s most intricate and complex work to date, signifying a big step forward for the band in terms of their song-writing ability. With similarities to acts such as Thee Oh Sees, Fontaines D.C., BRMC, Viagra Boys, or Black Angels, Birdman Cult are sure to be popular with fans of the psychedelic rock or the post-punk genres.

Listen to ‘Ferryman’ here: