Posts Tagged ‘Jealous Of The Birds’

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Naomi Hamilton pursues an unusual strategy on her new EP as Jealous of the Birds: Four of the five songs appeared on her 2016 album Parma Violets, in slightly different form. The changes are subtle, but the songs are excellent, so think of it as a second chance to discover the singer from Belfast, Northern Ireland, before she breaks out. Hamilton writes literary lyrics, delivering precise, evocative images with the confident air of someone who thinks a lot about words and their meanings and how they fit together. Though her songs have a vintage feel, it’s filtered through a wide-ranging sensibility with modern touches. Along with the sitar-like guitar drone on “Plastic Skeletons,” she dials in pastoral woodwinds on “Miss Misanthrope” and a shaggy combination of acoustic guitars and drums on “Trouble in Bohemia.” There are dark glimmers of electric piano on “Tonight I Feel Like Kafka” and punky, overdriven guitars on “Russian Doll.” Whatever the musical accompaniment, Hamilton sings with poise and self-assurance in a voice equally capable of whiskey-toned murmurs and full-throated melodicism. Either way, she has a magnetic presence that makes these songs mesmerizing, even the second time around.

Jealous of the Birds- The Moths of What I Want Will Eat Me In My Sleep out now:


This was a big surprise, then, when a sweet, female-fronted acoustic ballad – with whistling – opened the album. Jealous of the Birds is Northern Irish singer-songwriter Naomi Hamilton, whose airy voice massages, even on the mournfully delicious anti-suicide ballad of the title track. She ramps up the guitar occasionally – and successfully – for a garagey feel, and there’s also the sneery blues chug of “Powder Junkie”, another treat. What’s great is that, while she dips into it on songs such as “The Zodiac Bar”, Hamilton mostly stays away from the whole ethereal-ambient post-Cocteaus thing that would seem the obvious choice for her voice, instead focusing on lyrical songs that the old Brill Building masters would be pleased with.