There was a sense that, with her 2019 self-titled debut, Jade Bird sought to eschew the ‘country’ label that’d been foisted upon her so early on. Piano ballads and pop nous were scattered across the record, as if to desperately prevent pigeonholing. Two years on, and it seems as if Jade’s more willing to allow the Americana that so obviously pervades both her songwriting and vocal lilt to seep in. Closer ‘Prototype’ is probably the pinnacle on that count, or ‘Punchline’ with its reference to driving “down the 305”, or even the stripped-back ‘Red White and Blue’. But for the most part - and that at which the record is at its best - it’s allowing the style to match with a bolder, full-band setup, one which pushes Jade’s raspy voice forward. Bright opener ‘DKOL’ does this well, as does highlight ‘Candidate’, almost howling “If you want somebody to hate / I’m a great candidate” in the chorus alongside driving, indie-rock guitars. It’s very Sheryl Crow. ‘1994’ is another along the same lines, its distortion giving way to a shout-a-long chorus. This is by no means a ripping up of the rule book for Jade, but from this side-step where she’s going next could be anyone’s guess.
Records & Merch
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