April 15, 2019 Jade Bird – Jade Bird (Album Review)
Genuineness is one of the most captivating elements of music, and if the artist really feels what they are performing, listeners are bound to stick like glue. This in mind, there is nothing ordinary about England’s Jade Bird; a singer-songwriter who is independent in thought, divine in talent, and authentic in character. Through her charm, she transforms her experiences of the past 2 years into her debut self-titled album, which is set to for release on Friday, April 19th through Glassnote Records.
Looking back, even further than 2 years ago, the 21-year old’s musical journey began at the age of 8 when she learned piano while attending Bryntirion Comprehensive School. With her talents developing, Bird later began her songwriting and guitar-playing at the age of 12. Borrowing her grandmother’s guitar, she started storytelling through experiences and allowing her imagination to put herself into the perspective of situations. This talent has allowed her songwriting to expand to a world of “anything is possible.”
Fast forward to recent times, Bird gained a head start on receiving recognition with the lead single “Lottery” featuring her uniquely raspy voice, a factor which kept the single #1 on Triple A Radio for three weeks. With a resemblance of Patsy Cline’s singing style, the fiery attitude of Elle King, and the free spirit of Alanis Morisette, Bird collectively molds different styles together to set herself apart.
Her self-titled record, which was produced by Simon Felice and David Baron, holds as a staple for the young artist. Off to a bubbly start, “Ruins” has a catchy beat and incredibly raw vocals that draw you in. One of the main themes on the record, which is evident in this opening track, is mixed feelings about someone whom she is/was in a relationship with. Whether the feelings are hurt, confusion, or frustration, Bird stands triumphant with “My Motto.” The simple ballad twists from being battered and bruised to seeing the better side of the situation, knowing there will be better days.
To follow is the emotionally driven “Does Anybody Know,” a perfect capsule of the feeling of lonely. Soft acoustic guitar strums leave you feeling small and wanting to reach out to Bird for an embrace. Then the sorrow continues with the piano ballad “17” where gentle vocals burst during the powerful bridge as she sings about feeling the burn from being honest. This is while the noteworthy “If I Die” closes the record on a somber note as Bird shows she wants her life to be celebrated. Heavily driven by feeling, she wants to rejoice her life and carry on her memory, requesting to bypass the mourning.
In the contrast, the album blossoms with life with “Side Effects” as a thumping beat and acoustic guitar brightens the tones to a much youthful side of Bird. In fact, it is guaranteed you will want to pack a bag and drive into the sunset with the windows down for this one. Full of sass, the singer-songwriter brings betrayal to the surface in radiant “Uh Huh.” With a “what goes around comes around” attitude, this “screw you” song is any cheater-victim anthem. This is while “Going Gone” holds a Country vibe of being in a Western bar, which is exactly what the lyrics reflect – the thoughts and conversations of a “babysitter” of an alcoholic who isn’t afraid to say “enough is enough.”
Through her themes of heartache, cheating partners, or searching for joy, Jade Bird creates a diverse palette that gives the album a great structure. Instrumentally, the album is pure and simple. That said, not only does she nail the vocals, the emphasis on some tracks will really blow you away. There is no doubt Jade Bird should be on the radar of up-and-coming artists. That is why Cryptic Rock gives this album 4.5 out of 5 stars.