Birdy – Portraits
Birdy’s upcoming album, Portraits presents a captivating journey through melodies seemingly crafted to linger and haunt the listener. Some of these songs have been performed live during the artist’s UK and Europe Tour this year, and experiencing the entire album magnifies the initial emotional response: an exquisite fusion of delicate and powerful elements, weaving ethereal soundscapes with Birdy’s distinctive vocal delivery.
Paradise Calling, the dreamy opening track, has a vivaciously airy quality that immediately draws the listener in. The lively instrumentation, characterised by Birdy’s signature electronic elements and piano melodies, provides a backdrop for her voice to become an instrument in its own right. Throughout the record, in fact, she wields her vocal prowess, transitioning between moments of serene tranquillity and soaring emotional intensity.
Raincatchers, a Kate Bush-inspired and up-tempo 80s alt-pop gem, stands as one of the highlights. With a rhythm that’s more energetic compared to some of her earlier works, it is about looking back on past experiences while trying to bridge the gap between one’s present and younger self. Lines like “We used to be raincatchers / And we couldn’t see what we were running from / You made me feel like / Nothing really matters” beautifully encapsulate the album’s overarching depth.
The more minimalistic Your Arms is another magnificent example of that: its delicate piano melody captures the longing for a loved one’s embrace, reflecting on feelings of safety that one might experience only in someone’s arms. And it does so with simplicity and raw vulnerability, allowing the singer-songwriter’s voice to take centre stage – she could be a confidante sharing her innermost desires with a nodding listener.
Memory and the interplay of past and present are certainly some of the core themes here. In Portraits, for instance, Birdy sings about “looking for a way back home,“ while moments of introspection give way to powerful crescendos: the melody reflects the complex tapestry of the human sentiments evoked, particularly that very relatable desire to preserve certain moments, to freeze them and keep them forever.
Portraits demonstrates a distinctive and remarkable talent. Birdy’s music isn’t just a collection of songs; it’s a vivid depiction of emotions and experiences that resonate deeply. This album showcases her growth as an artist and her evolution as a lyricist, while proving once again just how much unyielding strength lies in vulnerability.
Portraits is released on 18th August 2023. For further information or to order the album visit Birdy’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Raincatchers here: