Birdy’s fifth studio album is here and it is surprising and thrilling fans with its polished and gleaming alt-pop aesthetics. Let’s not forget the lyrics or Birdy’s incredible and unique vocal style, which, even though we heard it across 11 songs on this album, we still can’t seem to get enough of it. Can we? Portraits feels like a presentation of new Birdy; a new Birdy packed full of confidence and explorative powers she’s almost unrecognizable, but not in a bad way. While Birdy’s previous works are beautiful, her latest works are like a reintroduction to the pop star. That means we get to rediscover Birdy again, and what’s better than that?
“If I reach out for you (Yeah, oh) / Will you pull me towards you? (Yeah, oh) / There’s a voice that’s callin’ (Yeah, oh) / Into the forest in the night/And I hear you talkin’ (Yeah, oh),” she sings on “Automatic,” the love song about being on the fence about whether to truly fall in love or threading carefully. “And my heart is stallin’ (Yeah, oh) / Not gonna reach down for you (Yeah, oh) / I’ve already cut the wires.”
Birdy wrote “Automatic” with producers Gabe Simon, Mark Crew, and Dan Priddy. As a way to get her fans to connect with the songs on Portraits, she made a video explaining the inspiration and the reason behind each of the songs and how they tied together with the general theme of the album.
Speaking about Portraits‘ creative process, Birdy says, “After five years making my previous record, which was quite emotionally intense, Portraits was born from the ashes with a brooding urgency I’d not felt before. Naturally, I sought to make something that reflected the surge of energy inside me; I was excited by a mixture of synthetic and acoustic sounds and found a lot of freedom and joy venturing into a new sonic universe that I used to think I could never exist in authentically. The album is full of movement and themes of fantasy, a moment of truth, the inner child and perfectionism to the point of heartbreak.”
Due to her eclectic songs and performance styles, she’s earned a devout audience willing to fill arenas to see her perform live. She’s managed to sell out The Sydney Opera House for three consecutive nights and has played to over 10,000 people across two nights at London’s Eventim Apollo, and she has reached many more milestones on global world tours. She has also headlined festivals across Europe and Asia, and performed at the UK’s famed Glastonbury Festival. This October, she will be performing 3 shows: Irving Plaza, New York on October 20, August Music Hall, Los Angeles on October 22, and Belasco Theater on October 24.
Nmesoma Okechukwu is an entertainment journalist, editor and freelance writer. She covers pop culture, music, lifestyle, literature, movies, and environmental preservation.
Nmeso's work ranges from writing profiles, essays and features for various online and print publications to doing commercial copywriting, musician bios and press releases, editorial consulting, live interviews and video production.
You can also find her interviewing talents, campaigning for the preservation of the natural environment and championing the eradication of extreme poverty.