Photo: Lotta Boman / Press

Birdy — Surrender

Birdy continues to usher in a new era with her latest ethereal single “Surrender,” ahead of her first full-length studio album in five years, Young Heart (due April 30). The track marks the singer-songwriter’s second release of 2021 as a stripped-back version of the formerly theatrical artist we fell enamored by 10 years ago. Throughout Birdy’s decade-long career, melodramatic sounds and a whimsical production value were akin to her musical identity, but for the first time, “Surrender” introduces listeners to the person behind the microphone — welcome to the world an imperfectly perfect Jasmine Lucilla Elizabeth Jennifer van den Bogaerde.

With vulnerability and growth at the crux of the track, “Surrender” single handedly takes on the daunting task of defining the forthcoming project she describes as having “no decoration” in a press junket. “Anything that didn’t need to be there, isn’t,” Birdy emphasizes. “This album means a lot to me — I want to protect it.” In that case, what else can we expect other than pure sincerity and bona fide rawness from an album guarded with its creator’s life?

Lead by an airy piano and delicate guitar strings, “Surrender” sounds as though it lives in the same universe as Taylor Swift’s chart-toppers folklore and evermore. Music-lovers are eating up the gentle, cozy trends of flannel shirts and wintery nights that gave Birdy a mainstream platform all those years ago. Be that as it may, there’s certainly no better time for her to break out an album than the present. If 2021 is growing to be the year of indie-folk, Birdy is the ideal leader to flood the musical gates with her mild melodies and hypnotic vocals.

In the five years since Birdy’s last studio release, Beautiful Lies, she’s managed to travel the world in a way that refined her persona into music’s most candid, unearthed artist. Drawing from her journeys towards adulthood, “Surrender” illustrates her intuitive nature as a creative aiming to speak with nothing short of humility and honesty. As every other 20-something endures to some common degree, it touches upon pain and anguish, quite far from the happy-go-lucky influences that made us fall in love with the singer in a decade’s past — but that’s exactly what makes the listening experience worthwhile. While Birdy is surrendering to the ache of relationship fallouts, we’re feeling the familiarity of her suffering too. Though we laugh, cry, and scream through Birdy’s edgy voyage through “Surrender,” she still manages to create a home brimming with serenity for her listeners to come back to.

“Surrender” is out now on all platforms — pre-save Young Heart due April 30 to be the first to experience the magic.