Jealous of the Birds Plastic Skeletons
On paper a track like ‘Plastic Skeletons’ really shouldn’t work, the fact that it seems to weave its way through a number of different musical genres could reasonably lead to an expectation that such material could perhaps jar on the ears. It’s therefore, a testament to the musical skill and lyrical dexterity of Northern Irish singer-songwriter Jealous of the Birds that ‘Plastic Skeletons’ works so beautifully.
It’s a track that broods and builds and just when you feel you’ve nailed it down, it morphs subtly into something else again. It’s a musical shapeshifter, menacing yet buoyant, which begins with angular chiming guitars that wouldn’t be out of place on an Au-Pairs record. At other points its punctuated with dark slabs of throbbing electronica before it spreads it’s wings and soars across a spiralling vortex of turbulent grungy guitar noise without ever sacrificing any of its subtlety or hypnotic beauty. It perfectly encapsulates just what a formidable talent Naomi Hamilton, aka Jealous of the Birds is.
Her perspicacious, poetic wordplay could, in less nimble hands come across as a stream of consciousness but Hamilton has a remarkable ability to synthesize words and phrases imbuing them with meaning and profound dark beauty. Her writing is bursting with ingenuity and imagination conjuring images, atmospheres and emotions in a way that a simple linear narrative just wouldn’t be able to deliver. Factor in Hamilton’s ability to craft beautiful, powerful evocative melodies that range from gentle almost folksy ballads to gritty soaring grunge-crunch and you are left in little doubt that here is a hugely gifted songwriter and poet of almost immeasurable talent. Indeed a talent so big that her work immediately resonated with Northern Irish producer Declan Legge, who worked with Hamilton on her 2016 debut album and said “I recognised something in what Naomi was doing that made me realise I have to do this. It was one of those moments”
Her new EP The Moths Of What I Want Will Eat Me In My Sleep, which arrives July 13th via Hand in Hive (UK & Europe) and Canvasback Music (US) leads with the angular spiky menacing grunge power of ‘Plastic Skeletons’ , plus re-recording’s of tracks from her debut DIY album ‘Parma Violets’ (which somehow I completely missed!) including the weird off-kilter folktronica of ‘Tonight I Feel Like Kafka’ and the quite frankly jaw-dropping melodic and lyrical brilliance of ‘Russian Doll.’