Melancholy by nature, yet inflammatory with their emotion; BIRD are a 5-piece ambient folk act that not only create music, they create soundscapes in which, with a blink of the eye, you can find yourself lost in.
Their music is full of paradoxes, coupling dynamics with minimalism, as a brooding marque of instrumentation is balanced around an uncanny ability to captivate the imagination.
Birthed from the potent determination of Adéle Emmas, she talks about her band, her vision, with undertones of both passion and modesty; “I’ve been a song writer for as long as I can remember. I’ve been in previous bands, but it was never really my innovation. I just wanted to do something that was mine.” It seems hard to believe that such a young musician can be so collected, whilst possessing such a thirst for the fantastical; “I always loved reading really imaginative stories like Enid Bliyton and Roald Dahl. I think it makes real life a bit more exciting just thinking about what could be as opposed to what is.”
Avid fans of the genre will be familiar with particular coverall descriptors that always rear their heads when talking about folk acts, adjectives such as ethereal, effervescent, twee. To abide by these would be a disservice to Bird, as they are not simply about the music, they are about the lyrics, the aura, the feel. They achieve their identity through escapism from storytelling; “lyrics are incredibly important to me, to some it might be the rhythm or the guitar, but lyrics enable me to be poetic, descriptive; to give imagery,” explains Adéle. “Our music is about taking you back to a place or time, it’s about memory and nostalgia. I find when you go off with your imagination, it can be more exciting than the real world.”
Musically, they parallel their persona of otherworldliness through instrumentation. Because of this, focus lies on the interpretation of atmosphere, as opposed to the predictability of harmony, it’s not about creating a hook, but about crafting spatiality; “it doesn’t necessarily have to be about really complex guitar riffs or drum beats. We can do things that are very simple but bring the emotion and story of the song through the sound”. They have found a happy medium, whereby sparse melodies meet rich musical environments. Who could ask for a better platform to convey tales of specters and ghouls?
As Adéle’s siren-esque voice sprouts fables of macabre, it is the instruments which float around it that truly give her stories substance; looming bass trills echo her syllables and jangling guitar melodies dance on her every adjective. It is these idiosyncrasies that make Bird so special; “Keith (Thompson, guitar) and Mick (Dolan, guitar) often come up with cool medieval or psychedelic riffs, Lexy (Alexis Samata, drums) is always trying out really cool tribal beats and Ste (Parratt, bass) contributes really atmospheric, sometimes funky, basslines” she says, emphasising their significance, “they know it’s my baby, but they’re very much a part of it and have a lot of influence. They’re as much to thank for the music as I am.” The fact there is such a mish-mash of ideologies being injected into the project, makes it an astounding achievement that their music is so coherent. “I’m writing all the time. When you feel creative, you have to try your best to surround yourself with creative things, so I’m quite lucky to have such good musicians.”
Bird remind us why we fell in love with fairytales and daydreams, so invest some of your time and it will take you back to a era when even seeing the slightest of shadows would arouse your minds-eye, and when Halloween wasn’t just another excuse for delinquents to ‘egg’ their neighbours.‘So what does the future hold for Bird’, I hear you hark. “We’re looking to release an EP which should be out on October 31st which is Halloween and quite fitting for us” she says, “we’re also going down to 6Music to chat with Tom Robinson, as well as constantly gigging.”
As I collect my notes, finish my coffee and hoist my belt, I still can’t believe that such a vibrant individual could conjure something so refreshingly bleak and tantalizingly haunting.