This article was first published on Louder Than War on 7 September 2012.
Our New Artist of the Day today is Bird – a female three-piece from Liverpool about the release their new EP, Shadows. Full of atmospheric vocals, hypnotic beats and spellbinding guitar we think this is something quite special.
I had a dream I fell down a rabbit hole. Or maybe I was falling through space. Occasionally it was more like I was sinking in water.
Anyway, I was falling and it was dark, speckles of glimmering light breaking through to strobe what was passing. And what was passing for a long time was mainly nothing.
I didn’t land but I did stop falling. The dark stretched and the light flashes slowed to a glowing pulse coming at me from different directions.
There were trees, a forest of strange trees hung with curtains of brittle, greying moss that smelt of the sea. I tip-toed through the trees, pulling the spindled curtains aside to let me through for I had to find my way somewhere.
And I did. To a clearing where there were mysterious, beautiful creatures engaged in music and dance, laughter and living. I sunk down onto a soft bed of sweet smelling wildflowers and let the scene take me.
Of course, I didn’t actually have this dream, but if I did I know it would be soundtracked by Bird.
The Liverpool three-piece (Adele Emmas, Sian Williams and Alexis Samata) have created a set of songs which are dark and atmospheric, pretty and magical. They are a delight to listen to, conjuring wild imagery (see above) along the sonic journey.
This is gothic beauty – in the most desolate, melancholy, literary sense. Influences such as Kate Bush are evident in the swooning vocal while the melody takes on an insistent yet loose feel, reminiscent almost of shoegaze.
There is bound to be a comparison to the other Liverpool girl-group of the moment Stealing Sheep but if anything Bird are twisting and re-imagining folk even further, bringing in more earthy mythology and elemental sparks.
Shadows has an almost choral arrangement, gentle harmonies soothing the falsetto as a delicately picked guitar leads the song onwards toward the rumbling drums. There is a pastoral feel to this, at twilight maybe, at the most magical of times as dust motes float through shafts of sunlight and its easier to believe in faery. It’s starts to feel as if it’s walking in the same half-world as Mary Epworth’s album from earlier this year, Dream Life.
The folk-infusion strengthens on I Am The Mountain as the harmonies increase, the vocal as much a part of the rhythm as the drums. An assured sound which gives hope for what might come as this band matures.
Monsters by comparison begins as a stripped bare number, the vocal here more wailing, more desolate, almost (and certainly deliberately) discordant in parts. The track builds and again the heart flutters not only for what is but at what may yet be.
Bird are an exciting and intriguing prospect and the feeling is that Shadows is only the very start of a magical journey into another world.
All words by Sarah Lay.