After leaving her band Ashrae Fax in early 2004, Renee Mendoza formed Filthybird to focus on her own songwriting. Collaborating with New York native Brian Haran (former participant in Glenn Branca Orchestra, LaMonte Young projects and guitarist for Viridian), Filthybird began as an organic-ethereal home recording project. As a duo, Filthybird self-released In Good Time and Scientifikites and began sketching ideas for their debut full-length, Southern Skies. The success of these recordings and other fan support urged them to fill out the band with a traditional line-up for more frequent live performances.
With the addition of the rhythm section's Shawn Smith (formerly of Citified, Palaver & Hombre Dado) on drums and bassist Mike Duehring (formerly of the Childrens and Burning Downs with Jim McHugh, current front-man of Orange Twin's Dark Meat) in 2006, Filthybird have grounded their sound, creating a soulful, psych-rock band whose live performances are equally as captivating as their recordings.
Since then, Filthybird has played throughout the eastern US with shows ranging from the Independent Music and Arts Festival in Indianapolis to the 40 Watt in Athens, GA. They have shared the stage with Oakley Hall, Vetiver, Dark Meat, Glass Candy, Young People, Odawas, Alex Delivery, Strange, and The Strugglers.
But the story of Southern Skies begins long before the band's inception. Mendoza's mother was a member of the southern garage rock band Southern Skies with Stanley Moore, the unspoken leader and drummer of 60's Texas-psych band Zachary Thaks (contemporaries of the 13th Floor Elevators). Growing up in this environment helped shape Mendoza's songwriting and Southern Skies contains one song originally written by her mother.
Southern Skies was recorded in Mendoza and Haran's first home in Greensboro, NC (pictured on the album cover). Haran, an experienced recording engineer who has worked with bands ranging from Murphy's Law to Fred Schneider in New York City studios, created a recording space in their all-wooden attic called the Pinebox Recording Studio. His primary goal for their debut album was to create a texturally lush sound while giving reverence to the old ideals of capturing music in a particular space without sacrificing the integrity of the sound to conform to modern digital aesthetics.
Renee and Brian are currently working on recordings for the second Filthybird Album, "Songs For Other People". Filthybird continually plays live as a four piece as well as a solo act in which Renee breaks ground with new songs and sounds.