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Music video by Garbage performing Magnetized.
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Strange Little Birds
Garbage - Strange Little Birds.png
Studio album by Garbage
ReleasedJune 10, 2016 (2016-06-10)
StudioGrunge Is Dead; Red Razor Sounds, Los Angeles, United States[1]
  • Alternative rock
  • electronic rock
  • industrial rock
Billy Bush (add. production)[2]
Garbage chronology
Singles from Strange Little Birds
  1. "Empty"
    Released: April 20, 2016[3]

Strange Little Birds is the sixth studio album by American-Scottish alternative rock band Garbage.[4] It was released on June 10, 2016 through the band's own record label, Stunvolume.[5] It is their second independent album release,[6] and follows 2012's Not Your Kind of People.[7] The album press release describes Strange Little Birds as "a sweeping, cinematic record of a unified mood: darkness".[6]

The album's title references fan letters the band members received as well as the music they listened to growing up.[8] Strange Little Birds will be preceded by lead single "Empty"[9] and supported by an international tour.[10]


  • 1 Composition and style
  • 2 Recording
  • 3 Track listing
  • 4 Personnel
  • 5 Release history
  • 6 References

Composition and style

Singer Shirley Manson said, "the guiding principle was keeping it fresh, and relying on instinct both lyrically and musically";[8] "To me, this record, funnily enough, has the most to do with the first record than any of the previous records. It’s getting back to that beginner’s headspace."[7] Manson described Strange Little Birds as a "romantic" record.[11] Manson clarified later, "What I mean by romance, really, is vulnerability. I used to feel so scared, and I think that was why I was so aggressive — but I’m much more willing to admit weaknesses than I was before.”[6] Each song, she says, addresses “different points in my life between me and a person I’ve loved. They’re hot spots in my life, when I was afraid, or vulnerable, or didn’t behave at my best.”[6] Drummer Butch Vig said that that the album is a departure for the band, darker and more "cinematic and atmospheric".[12]

Manson's approach to lyrical subject matter came from her perception of an absence of darkness in current pop cultural trends. "I feel like the musical landscape of late has been incredibly happy and shiny and poppy. Everybody’s fronting all the time, dancing as fast as they can, smiling as hard as they can, working on their brand. Nobody ever says, ‘Actually, I’m lost and I don’t have a fucking clue what I’m doing with the rest of my life and I'm frightened.’[6] "There aren't really any upbeat pop songs,” says Vig. “Even "Empty", which has a big, anthemic guitar sound, has pretty dark lyrics".[6]


Writing and recording for Strange Little Birds took over two years, beginning in early 2013.[6] Garbage recorded over twenty tracks during the sessions.[13] The band recorded the album in Vig's basement[6] and at engineer Billy Bush's Red Razor Sounds studio in Los Angeles.[7] Vig stated, "we mixed it so it’s kind of confessional, almost confrontational. On a lot of songs, Shirley’s voice sounds really loud, in your face, and really dry. There are not a lot of effects. There are some moments on the record that get really huge, but a lot of it is really intimate."[12] Two of the songs written during the sessions, "The Chemicals" and "On Fire", were given a vinyl release on Record Store Day the previous year.[14]


Track listing

Early online store listings have offered up "FWY" ("Fucking With You" initialised[13]) as a bonus track on the vinyl.[27]


Preliminary credits adapted from an article at Electronic Musician.[1]


  1. ^ a b Micallef, Ken (May 24, 2016). "Issue Sneak Peek: Inside Garbage's 'Strange Little Birds' Sessions". Electronic Musician. NewBay Media. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  2. ^ "BILLY BUSH; SELECTED PRODUCER, ENGINEER & MIXER CREDITS" (PDF). GPS Services. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "GARBAGE RELEASE NEW SINGLE "EMPTY"". Murray Chalmers PR. April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016. 
  4. ^ Kickham, Dylan (March 10, 2016). "Garbage Reveal Release Sate for New Album Strange Little Birds". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  5. ^ Camp, Zoe (March 10, 2016). "Garbage Announce New Album Strange Little Birds, Plot Tour". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "ALBUM BIO: GARBAGE – STRANGE LITTLE BIRDS [LIBERATOR MUSIC/STUNVOLUME] (OUT FRIDAY, 10 JUNE 2016)". Liberator Music via Mushroom Promotions. April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Blistein, Jon (March 10, 2015). "Garbage Prep New Album 'Strange Little Birds'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Hendicott, James (March 10, 2016). "Garbage Announce Sixth Album 'Strange Little Birds'". NME. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Garbage on Twitter". April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2016. Ok it’s official. This week you will finally hear the first single off our new record.It’s called EMPTY. And it’s what you want. Trust Me.   

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