In a sentence:
A confident and characterful debut by Jade Bird is another reminder of the importance of female agency in the music industry.
natural talent for storytelling, paired with her angelic voice and intriguing
inclination towards the sounds of country, folk and indie-rock, made this
up-and-coming artist a growing sensation not only in her native Britain, but also on the other side of the Atlantic.
She’s been signed to an American indie label in Glassnote, and since then released a well received EP titled Something
American in 2017, followed by her debut, eponymous full-length record.
Bird’s early singles introduced us to the singer’s potent
and vigorous side. However, the uplifting energy that tracks such as ‘Uh Huh’ and ‘I Get No Joy’ shared
isn’t necessarily what drives this album to its best. Songs such as ‘Ruins’, ‘My Motto’ or ‘Does Anybody Know’ are those
that rush to the surface as some of Bird’s strongest work. They point towards a
melancholic spectrum of emotions, referencing moments of self doubt or
resentment and urgency to move on. Yet, this tender atmosphere created by Bird
is nothing short of impactful – her recognisable dynamism is still there and
works together well with her sensitive side.
‘Good At It’
is a particularly good example of how vulnerable and expressive Bird can be,
with the suggestive lyrics and her raspy voice bringing just about the right
amount of bitterness and toughness to the story. Nonetheless, there are also
some less inspiring moments on the album, such as the piano led ‘17’ or the closing track ‘If I Die’. Both songs lose
conviction and fearlessness in their simplistic, over-dramatised compositions,
regardless of Bird’s stunning vocal performance.
Bird is an album that embodies some of the biggest strengths of the artist
behind it. It’s packed with catchy melodies, perfectly executed vocals and
influences of Americana, which give the album its sleek, perfectly polished
feel. At the same time, the almost impeccable production doesn’t take away much
of Bird’s authenticity, which she fought tooth-and-nail to keep in her music, resenting the “middle-aged
white man telling me how to write my feelings” that often happens with young female newcomers
in the music industry.
Jade Bird’s first album is a without a doubt a successful introduction to this
young, prolific songwriter. It’s got charisma within its well written material,
as well as a lot potential that the 21-year-old will surely explore on her next
releases. Let’s hope that Bird will stick to the promises that she made to
herself, about writing her own songs and not letting anyone tell her to do
otherwise – so far it it’s been working pretty well, and Jade Bird
is a great testament to
that. (7/10) (Alicja Rutkowska)
Listen to Jade Bird by Jade Bird here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
Tags: album, Glassnote
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