This might have been my most anticipated show of the year. Cuz, well, I love Birdy. I love all things British really, and British musicians are no exception. For someone who just turned 18 and is just releasing her second album (in North America anyway), Birdy has accomplished so much in a comparatively small wedge of time.
I first discovered her music in a most unusual way. I was volunteering at the Surrey Dance Festival last year, playing the CDs for the dancers. While it reminded me how much I love lyrical jazz, I also learned something else: that lyrical jazz dancers love to perform to Birdy. I must have heard her version of Cherry Ghosts’ People Help The People at least half a dozen times, probably more, and each bit of choreography was stunning. In a way, it’s a very appropriate song for lyrical jazz, as Birdy sings it in a slow, minimalist and almost melancholic way. Which is really what jazz is all about. Slow and emotional.
The show did not disappoint either. In addition to playing the aforementioned “People Help The People” and “Skinny Love”, her cover of Bon Iver’s tune that caused her to become a sensation, she also delighted me and the rest of the crowd at the Vogue theatre with new hits like “Light Me Up” and my new favourite “Words As Weapons”. The music video on that last one is an absolute killer. William Faulkner would be proud. It was the perfect mood-setter for the headlining Christina Perri.
On top of everything she has done, Birdy has also been featured in the soundtracks for two new films: A Winter’s Tale starring Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe, and The Fault Stars In Our Stars starring new It-Girl Shailene Woodley and her “Divergent” brother Ansel Egort; the film in turn is based off the YA best-seller by John Green. She has three songs featured on the latter. She also collaborated with Mumford & Sons on the song “Learn Me Right” for Pixar’s Brave, which resulted in her first Grammy nomination, as well her single “Just A Game” was featured on the soundtrack to The Hunger Games. Wowzers!
I was glued to my seat and my eyes were fixated on the stage during her entire set. She possess such raw vocal power, especially for someone of her age. She moved deftly between guitar and piano, though I definitely prefer her on the latter. It suits her voice better and meshes with her overall musical sounds more aptly than the guitar. But she is strong on both instruments. My plaid twin Dana, who is quickly becoming my concert buddy, didn’t know who Birdy was, but after hearing her quipped “I may purchase her album legally”. Yes, Birdy IS that good. And I will be first in line to buy “Fire Within”
Photo courtesy of http://www.charstinfrance.net
Fire Within, Birdy’s 2nd album, will be released in North America on June 3rd.
1) What is Birdy’s birth name?
2) She is the great-niece of what well-known British actor?
3) Which British talent competition did she win at the age of 12?