My first listen to Birdeatsbaby was when I received a preview of their upcoming album The Bullet Within and was asked to write a review for the fairly unknown yet talented band. My initial reaction was – this is not my usual choice of music! But before shooting it down I gave the 12 tracks a listen and realised that sticking to what you know isn’t as fun as discovering new sounds.
It almost scared me because I wasn’t familiar with what I’d just heard and had no one to compare their sound too. Turns out I’m not alone with using the word ‘scared’ in reference to Birdeatsbaby, the descriptions of dark, gothic, dramatic and scary seem to be a running theme for the new record. But don’t let that put you off. The Brighton born four piece are a perfect representation of the colourful, artistic city, full of individuality. Mishkin Fitzgerald takes on the role as the female lead vocalist, describing herself as the ‘ginger-vegan-piano-warrior’. Contradicting the theme of darkness, her feminine vocals are high pitched and soft, hitting notes that many singers will envy. Completing the band, who formed back in 2008, are fellow vocalist and violin player Tessa Gilles, Katha Rothe on drums and only male member Gary Mitchell takes on guitar.
Each track is like a piece of art within itself, representing emotions, opening with mystery and picking up the beat and dramatic sounds towards the middle. The opening track and second single off the album, The Bullet immediately introduces a dark sound, similar to what would be found in black and white films as the storyline takes a dramatic turn. The heavy, instrumental intro comes to an abrupt end as the witty lyrics begin. Enemies like Me takes on a similar form of being upbeat with an unexpected climax.
Aptly named Into the Black is a fast paced track lasting just over a minute, but seems to fit in every emotion of looking back on a past relationship. It also features a guest appearance from Rasputina’s violinist Melora Craeger, who has also worked with Marilyn Manson and Nirvana. With this being the band’s third album it seems they have had more opportunity to work with other talents, another featuring artist is Gabby Young, whose deeper vocals mix well with Fitzgerald’s on Spiders. The song, which is also a single from the album, opens with a more techno sound compared to the other tracks but gradually introduces the array of jazz instruments.
Birdeatsbaby don’t hold back in being honest about their emotions and as a result listener’s feelings are likely to be changing throughout each track. Drinking in the Day is full of self-criticising lyrics such as ‘I used to have a purpose, now I’m only drinking in the day’ alongside vulnerable sounding piano notes. Fittingly with their gothic style, Hands of Orlac was influenced by the 1920’s horror film of the same name, where a pianist has his hands replaced with a murderer’s. Fitzgerald’s vocals singing ‘how I’d like to shake this body off’ portray his emotions.
The album is split by the Interlude, full of mystery and showing how the band perfectly mix their instruments to create their unique and dramatic sound. A memorable track is The Lighthouse thanks to its chant-like chorus. It has a fantasy theme – fitting with the band’s music videos – with references to Rapunzel. The final song on the album, Silence, is a perfect way to end and sum up the sound of Birdeatsbaby, with its mysterious and dark opening, suddenly becoming a loud, fast pace and finishing off with soft, solo piano notes.
If you’re looking for a completely new and interesting sound then Birdeatsbaby will give you that. Their songs provide stories full of emotion and you’ll never know what pace to expect next. They certainly stand out in terms of music genre and could not be accused of trying to be like any well-known musicians out there.