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album review: birdy, self-titled

Just after popping my copy of Birdy’s self-titled album into my MacBook’s mouth (I could almost hear it begging me to hurry up and feed it), it occurred to me that I had heard this angelic voice before and I couldn’t have been more right.

Perhaps it is because this bright, young talent is something beyond the term “unique”, but Birdy’s words seem to float out into the wavelengths with that “I’m-a-strong-female” vibe. It was easy for me to realise I had been lucky enough to hear her pleasurable music before, and that had been in the release of The Hunger Games and its soundtrack, where her track, ‘Just a Game’, was featured. Instantly, I knew my iTunes repeat button was going to get a workout; she’s got that contemporary, electronic-ballad touch that is completely calming and satisfying after a long day.

So I found myself sitting comfortably in my little writing nook, nodding slowly away to the perfect melody in Birdy’s tracks. Each of them takes on an element that makes the album in its entirety, a collection; if you listened to the songs at random, you would still know that they belong together. The collection is an exceptional example of how music should be: full of glorious instrumental backdrops with realistic lyrics that make you say, “Hey, that’s exactly how I’m feeling right now”.

She may have only just hit sixteen years of age this month, but Birdy (aka Jasmine van den Bogaerde) definitely knows how to sing about the obstacles on life’s journey. From love to loss, and the overwhelmingness of becoming a woman, her self-titled album makes for a great listen to those who just want to feel that music can explain their emotions. Okay, you got it out of me; I am definitely one of those people. And that is why I was so drawn to her work, giving her rendition of Naked and Famous’s ‘Young Blood’ a fair workout on my speakers. I suggest that if you love a cover that has done itself justice, then this one is probably going to give you just that.

Just like anyone that listens to an album over and over, I have become attached to one song in particular: ‘People Help the People’. The track is nostalgic, truthful and a good insight to the impact that others have on the lives of those in their own. If I hadn’t known Birdy’s age prior to listening, then I would surely have said she is a grown woman who has experienced the lot in her life, so tells the story in her lyrics.

That is the true art in her debut album, the ability to portray to the world the hurt, sorrow and joys that life can bring, without having had a lifetime to experience it.

By Cassie McBlane

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