Birdy – Young at Heart
Five years after the release of her last record, Beautiful Lies, Birdy returns with a project that immediately communicates the time and thought that has been poured into its production. Already a decade into her career, Birdy uses Young Heart to push the boundaries of the stripped-back, intimate, piano-and-vocal style she is known for, presenting novel reflections on love and loneliness over melodies that retain the rawness of a solo acoustic set.
Tracks like Voyager and Surrender struggle with binaries: light and darkness, wholeness and emptiness, partnership and isolation. All are welcomed as open questions, as Birdy takes listeners lyrically through the tangles of what we feel and what we tell ourselves about those feelings, oscillating between an indulgent nostalgia over barely-present instrumentals and more uplifting, orchestrated pieces – the strings on River Song, especially, signal a hopeful shift in her meditations. As ever, the artist’s remarkable vocal talent is the focus, and pared-back production throughout the record leaves little to distract from this, only contributing an echo or deepening of the lyrical evocation here and there. As the record draws to its close, Celestial Dancers and New Moon embrace vagueness and uncertainty, asserting, “Tonight there’s a new moon / it’s all gonna change.” The tone is calm and ethereal, encouraging a light touch as the tides and the world change around us.
Like Birdy’s earlier albums, Young Heart is marked by sadness, but it is warm this time, not despondent, and the ability to travel through this feeling without faltering speaks to her growing maturity as a writer. The record feels unscripted – Birdy writes as she could speak, ever touching in her honesty and directness, each track an invitation much more than a performance, and chooses clarity over relatability, confident in the significance of the stories she tells.
Young at Heart is released on 30th April 2021. For further information or to order the album visit Birdy’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Surrender here: