With the release of her 2017 debut EP, Something American, Jade Bird cemented herself as a poignant, stirring songwriting force to behold. Yet, nowhere does the idea of Bird as one of this generation's truly great songwriters feel more fully-realized than on her phenomenal self-titled debut album.
“This album’s all of my past and my present,” Bird says matter-of-factly, and upon sitting with Jade Bird for even a moment, the grand weight of her sentiment is akin to a promise. It is the promise of an artist who from the modest opening moments of "Ruins" to the somber finale of "If I Die" weaves impactful sonic narratives that originate from the core of her being and extend far beyond the horizon.
Bird's profound musings, which range the gamut from deeply personal to universal in scope, are told through a soaring blend of country, indie pop, and folk, but the most impactful musical element on display here is the rising artist's ever-impressive voice. Liable to ascend into heart-piercing vocal acrobatics at a moment's notice, what is most impressive is how Bird maintains her innate gift for impactful storytelling even in Jade Bird's quietest of moments. Tracks like "Does Anybody Know" and "17" illustrate Bird's profound talent as a storyteller with their hushed, almost sacred, poise.
In her debut album, Bird has crafted a project that does so much more than belie the 21-year-old artist's age. She has crafted a lasting musical project with the ability to truly touch people for generations to come. This is what people speak of when they invoke the idea of transcendent songwriting. Bird spoke one her role as an artist as it relates to her debut album, sharing,
“I’m an incredibly positive person. Because the facts are we’re all fucked. The environment’s changing, politically we’re fucked. Great. But people who work in the arts are supposed to believe in magic, that’s your job: to believe in magic. To believe that imagination can exceed problems… I want people to have hope for a future.”
Listen to Jade Bird below:
For more from Jade Bird, revisit our All Eyes On performance and interview with one of the songwriters of our generation below.