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REVIEW: Becky And The Birds – ‘Trasslig’ EP (4AD)


In a sentence:

Thea Gustafsson’s Becky And The Birds project is one that promises great things, if latest EP ‘Trasslig’ is anything to go by.

Swedish artist Thea Gustafsson is the performer, songwriter, arranger AND producer of all the material that is released under her pseudonym, Becky And The Birds. Gustafsson is incredibly fortunate and skilled to have successfully established an outlet for her material with such stringent control over the artistic direction, and draws upon her knowledge of jazz and soul music in particular when styling her own music. Becky And The Birds’ latest EP release, a collection of seven tracks under the title Trasslig, is a light and dreamy collage of thought, punctuated by lo-fi hip-hop beats and Gustafsson’s exceptional vocal harmonies.

Music video for ‘Wondering’

Trasslig begins with the haunting but beautiful harmonic progression of ‘She’s Already Crazy’, a clearly jazz-inspired introduction to the EP, giving hints at what the listener can expect to hear throughout the rest of the track listing; song structures that are obscure, yet far from unpleasant, and harmony that challenges the ear without jarring the mind. A stand-out feature of this EP is Gustafsson’s voice, with which she reaches unbelievable heights, and crafts high-pitched harmony with such sharp accuracy. In places, Gustafsson’s vocals almost sound akin to birdsong, high-pitched but never shrill, as in the second track ‘Wondering’.

Music video for ‘Trasslig’

Gustafsson’s production style also deserves praise, as she manages to achieve a lush, thick layering of instrumentation that doesn’t swamp her vocals but still provides a cushioning for them to rest upon as the track progresses. This is particularly evident in the track ‘Pass Me By’, a song that builds and builds with subtle additions to the overall texture of the music to create a soft yet prominent crescendo.

Music video for ‘Pass Me By’

Becky And The Birds is a personal project with immense promise, and Trasslig is an indication that the release of more material from the mind of Thea Gustafsson could be imminent. The music is of an established style, and suggests that she will perhaps begin a second project to address other musical genres/styles? The possibilities are endless with an artist who takes responsibility for every aspect of the creation of their work, and it will be interesting to see in which direction Gustafsson takes Becky And The Birds in the future. (7/10) (Jacob Kendrew)

Listen to Trasslig EP by Becky And The Birds here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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