I will forever continue to be amazed at the randomness of how you uncover different songs or artists that go on to become an essential part of your playlists. This was the case when I stumbled upon a song by English singer/songwriter Jade Bird, Lottery, after it showed up on my YouTube home screen. Having clicked on the song, I enjoyed what I heard. Bird’s voice had a pleasant and appealing maturity, and the instrumentation and structure of the song was instantly catchy and had you humming the tune long after the song stopped playing.
The next single that I would properly hear from the Hexham artist was the stamper, Love Has All Been Done Before. This is a great tune. There was something about the angry and defiant tone of the song that made it stand out from what other singer/songwriters were doing on the radio. This was a song about not settling for what other people believe to be the goal and instead striving to achieve what you want from this life, even if it is a little different. A “motto” worth paying attention to.
Shortly after, I stumbled upon a performance at The Quay Sessions in Glasgow for BBC Music of Bird singing her yet unreleased track Going Gone. That was that, I was hooked.
The success and traction that Jade Bird managed to generate because of a string of well received singles in 2018 and early 2019, there was a lot of excitement starting to generate about when her debut album would eventually reach us and what it would bring. Finally, on 18 April 2019, Jade Bird would be released for our listening pleasure, and it was indeed an extremely pleasurable listen.
Jade Bird is a wonderfully constructed collection of songs, and one of my favourite albums of 2019 so far, which is saying something considering the high standard of albums that we have already been graced with this year.
For the twelve tracks here, many of which are singles that have already been released to whet the appetite for this release, we are treated to a singer/songwriter who has a strong sense of what they are trying to do with their career and their sound. Bird is rebellious and assertive on these tracks and it makes for compelling listen as we are brought along with the conviction that is on show.
From the moment the album opens with the track Ruins it is clear that this is going to be a very accomplished debut. The album bounces along, and the album tracks more than hold own along side the released singles with songs Side Effects already sounding like songs that could dominate radio play if given the chance.
Apart from the loud and brash moments, there is still room for some gorgeously introspective tracks to sit back and enjoy. Songs like My Motto, 17, and If I Die, demonstrate the range that Bird is capable of in her songwriting and are another representation of the maturity that makes up Bird’s songwriting.
The instrumentation across the record is also used to perfection. There’s no unnecessary effects or distractions to take you out of the moment, and instead it is kept simple. The songs are often driven by excellent guitar rifts with bass and drums acting as the perfect compliments. This helps to keep the focus on the storytelling across this album.
This is only the beginning for Jade Bird, and that is what is most exciting.