A day ahead of its proper release, Pittsburgh-based folk duo Birthrates are streaming their debut LP in full. Entitled Act Right, the seven-track collection was recorded in a bedroom but you probably wouldn't know it from the production values, which emphasise the delicate guitar strokes of vocalist/guitarist Kirby Jayes and the taut bass of Linden Holt with the utmost clarity.

Act Right was recorded by Ryan Ruff (who also contributed drums to the record) in a house without A/C, leading to many sweaty recording sessions. The process could be quite arduous and required a discerning ear from all involved as they worked through material.

"This is the strongest set of songs that deals most directly with the kind of stories I'm interested in telling, and I feel like I'm much closer than ever before to having the sound I'm hearing in my head match the sounds we're capable of making," says Jayes. "It cost us a lot of thrown away songs, but I’m really happy with this as a complete set."

The album is at its best when Birthrates' gift for melody shines through clearest, such as on the mid-song breakdown on highlight 'Corner Booth.' But this is a strong debut from a burgeoning act that is sure to turn more than a few heads, with lyrics that are never afraid to look both inward and outwards.

"The songs on this record are a reflection of us trying to find a way to tell stories that matter to us, and that we're able to offer a useful perspective on, which is mostly masculinity and its discontents," Jayes explains. "How do you navigate the world when you live in a culture that pushes you to be unafraid, to be invulnerable, to see admitting when you're wrong as a moment of weakness rather than growth? These are things I've struggled with or thought about a lot and there's a lot of characters in these songs having those moments of shame and fear and vulnerability. I think it's important for us to dwell in those kinds of moments and dig around a little, partially as an act of normalizing them, but also partially as a source of comfort for people who feel those things.

"At the end of our sets, we usually try to get people to sing along to the title track of the album, the refrain that goes ‘no one in the world can hurt you. But I do my best to frame it beforehand as a moment that's explicitly about people coming together in community and promising to keep each other well, to keep each other safe, to make sure their spaces live up to the promise of these communities as places where people can feel safe and welcomed. It's a complicated thing, but I'd feel really unfulfilled if we weren't out there trying to do our part."

Birthrates is presently touring the U.S. with reckless abandon, with the group on track to have played over 100 shows in the year since graduating from college. Jayes says their eyes are already pointed toward the next LP, so keep your eyes open for more from them down the line. In the meantime, enjoy Act Right.