Birdy – Birdy
Amazing things in music are unfortunately few and far between, however. Birdy is something truly amazing. Fifteen year old Jasmine Ven den Bogaerde’s abilities will leave you speechless. Vocals which are full of soul and sung with a passion that a fifteen year old girl simply shouldn’t understand and a piano playing and song composition gift that tells you this is a true talent.
Her self titled debut release features ten cover songs and one original, with the reason behind essentially releasing a covers record as her debut being more time to finish her high school exams before recording an album of originals. Smart girl, as it is always good to have something to fall back on, but by the sounds of this music, Birdy’s career is pretty much set. Before you gawk at the idea of a covers record, know that the versions of these songs which Birdy has uniquely personalised are just as amazing as her vocal talent.
The cover selection alone is extremely classy as we begin straight away with a stand out, a laid back cover of Phoenix’s 1901, which features subtle piano work over a relaxed beat and Birdy’s beautiful voice leading the way. Next up is the track that has aroused the most attention, the twinkly cover of Bon Iver’s Skinny Love which once again shows of Bogaerde’s impressive vocal abilities. Choosing to stay around the indie rock genre, Birdy nearly betters Fleet Foxes original version of White Winter Hymnal before another highlight, The Postal Service’s The District Sleeps Alone Tonight. Paying homage to the original with an electronic beat, the young artist gives the phrasing of the track a very clever spin without losing the song’s amazing melodies.
Whilst the piano is the main driver other colours are incorporated every now and then, like on the cover of The Naked And Famous’ Young Blood which mimics the original with atmospheric synths and electro percussion whilst managing to mellow the song out. Jaws will drop even lower for the piano and vocal cover of The Xx’s Shelter before Bogaerde gives an unnecessary glimpse at what her next record will be like with her own original, Without A Word, unnecessary because she has literally made all of the other songs on this record her own anyway. What the original does show us however is how mature a song-writer this girl already is, it is simply amazing.