Album Review

Towa Bird - American Hero

She’s both a purveyor of sensitive queer love songs, and an accomplished guitarist adept at rocking out.

Towa Bird - American Hero


As long as pop-rock has been a genre, waves of artists have offered themselves up as examples of how the two constituent parts are hard to balance. There is no simple way to maintain both the trend-setting fluidity of pop and the iconoclastic hard edge of rock, no matter how many faintly distorted guitars are on your boy-meets-girl ballad. With Towa Bird’s debut ‘American Hero’ comes the promise of something that manages this dichotomy: she’s both a purveyor of sensitive queer love songs, and an accomplished guitarist adept at rocking out. Her vision is frequently crystal clear: ‘Last Dance’ borrows the sounds of 2000s radio rock and twists them around an endearing letter to friendship, while ‘This Isn’t Me’ uses a brash drum beat to underpin one of Towa’s more bittersweet choruses. But this is an album plagued by flaccid production: ‘Boomerang’, for example, comes close to being a thrashy, fun hit, yet leans towards anonymous advert rock, while ‘B.I.L.L.S’ has precedents in live versions of a big presence, yet dissolves under its own weightlessness. Towa shows a lot of promise on ‘American Hero’, but this is a record which doesn’t quite know how best to use her strengths. 

Towa Bird plays All Points East alongside Mitski (18th August) where DIY is an official media partner. Tickets are on sale now. Visit diymag.com/festivals for more information.

Tags: Towa Bird, Reviews, Album Reviews

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