Birdy at Somerset House
Birdy, despite her mere 21 years, expresses love and the lack thereof more lyrically and literately than most songwriters can ever hope to. She has a trove of little-known gems of tunes that combine personal experiences and witty metaphors, along with an assortment of hits that still keep their originality and unique Birdy feel. Her vocal range is extraordinary, displayed as she catapults herself from deep, Lorde-esque notes to whistle tones like it’s no big deal, and she carries herself so humbly one would never know she won Open Mic UK at age 12. Every Thank You she utters is clearly grateful and true, and, in fact, most of the talking she does is to express her gratitude or to congratulate her band members.
Though fans scream their excitement when she bellows well-known songs such as Skinny Love and Wings, they seem to enter a trance during her lesser-known ballads, as members of the audience discover some of the pieces for the first time. Even in the packed courtyard of Somerset House, one can witness each person in the crowd embark on a personal journey for the duration of every tune.
Her breathy voice is somehow gentle and strong, powerful yet soft, and ultimately an outstanding vehicle to convey the delicate subjects of her music. In Young Blood, Birdy meshes her ethereal voice with an almost techno bass line – and makes it work, really well. She and her band effortlessly transition into a tune that has some of the greatest lyrics ever penned: Wild Horses. With lines such as “Our human hearts forget how strong they are, and they get lost along the way” and “The Earth is loose under my shoes / there’s an angel / and he’s shaped like you”, it’s hard to remember this track was likely written when she was younger than 19.
Birdy has enough talent to last her a lifetime, and is easily one of the most human famous musicians out there. Although there is an absence of the back-up dancers and extravagant costumes that frequent this type of event – and she is practically invisible behind her piano for many numbers – the singer is not performing to create a theatrical production. But with a voice like hers, and talent that is more blinding than the lights pulsating behind her, the messages of the songs are conveyed just as clearly.
Photo: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information and future events visit the Birdy website here.
Watch the video for Wings here: