Thursday, 22 March 2012

Wallis Bird - Wallis Bird


This is a powerful and varied third, eponymous album. Wallis Bird has a strong and malleable voice to facilitate her eclectic songwriting where themes move between personal confession to contemporary commentary.

She has an energetic rock vocal to shout out her angry anthems as with Who’s Listening Now with its simple logic of if you keep on pushing people then they’re gonna push back, and there is the clear and crisp folk vocal of acoustic stories like In Dictum, though this song quickly rises to its chorus of another anthemic declaration the more you hold on to me the less you can have of me – perhaps for Wallis these fundamental poles are the basics of how we live our lives, a thought reinforced by the closing track Polarised, an atmospheric and emotive song of echoing guitar and a sudden swathe of overwhelming sound. Bird’s vocal here really does work through its range to captivate the listener. The acoustic version of this track on the deluxe edition foregrounds Bird’s whispering to whiplashing vocal and it provides an impressive emotional quality.

A favourite from this album is going to be Dress My Skin And Become What I'm Supposed To, with its repeated assertive line you don’t know shit and the engaging vocal layers I have already described. That line gets an incongruous choric support, and with the occasional handclap and other punctuating sounds this is one of the cleverest songs on the album. When it is followed by the pulsing and funky I Am So Tired Of That Line, you know you are in for a lively ride across quickly changing terrains. I haven’t worked out yet if this song’s rousing anthem is ironic or serious.

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