More Mayhem: Drumming Bird


Indie Rock band Drumming Bird will be a part of Lightning 100’s Elite 8 round of our twelfth annual Music City Mayhem. The band’s track “Riff Song” will be spun on air throughout the day on August 12, and voters will have the chance to advance them to the Final 4. Since artists won’t have the opportunity to perform for a live audience this year at EXIT/IN, Lightning 100 sat down with Drumming Bird to help voters get a more intimate look at the band.

Based in Nashville, 22 year old Austin Sawyer is the main engine behind Drumming Bird. The singer-songwriter founded Drumming Bird in 2014, but really hit his stride in 2019 with his first full-length album Great Smoky Love. Sawyer stated that his music “draws from inspiration ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Galaxie 500 to The Avett Brothers.” He also mentioned his love for Phoebe Bridgers and Pinegrove, which we 100% agree with.

Sawyer provides a refreshing take on Indie Rock with music that evokes emotion without sacrificing energy. He brings this same fervor to his live shows. “My dynamic stage presence at times brings audiences to their feet with high-octane folk-rock, while they remain pin-drop still at others,” Sawyer said. Drumming Bird’s concerts are often armed with irresistible electric guitar riffs, captivating his fans. 

Drumming Bird is set to release his next full-length album on October 9th, 2020. Following the theme of his last album titled Great Smoky Love, this one is named after Tennessee’s own Ocoee River. “I wanted to name this album Ocoee before I had even written any of these songs,” said Sawyer. “The name brings back the arresting beauty of driving US Hwy 64. It renders thoughts of rafting trips and cabin weekends. All memories of feeling more at peace than in today’s world of unrest.” Sawyer hopes Ocoee will be relational and nostalgic. 

When asked about how he has been spending time during the quarantine, Sawyer responded with a positive reflection. “It has had some silver lining. It gave me uninterrupted time to record my next album. And being in regular rotation on Lightning 100 has been nice!” 

With that, Drumming Bird left some final thoughts for his voters in the Elite 8 round: “Love one another. Support local music. Stream the new song. Vote Drumming Bird.” 

Make sure to tune in all day to 100.1 FM or online on August 12 to hear Drumming Bird’s “Riff Song” in heavy rotation, and don’t forget to cast your vote for the Final 4!

Written by Cate Burgan