Birdy – “People Help the People”

As an introduction to Birdy, I’m just going to recount my experience with finding out about her, because I’m sure it’s similar or will be similar to yours.

One fine summer evening a few months back, shortly after first signing up for Spotify, I searched for “Skinny Love” to add it to what was most likely a playlist of music that puts me to sleep (see also: folk playlist, favorite songs playlist, awesome playlist). What happened next I’m not quite sure, but I clicked the title of one option and was surprised to hear not an acoustic guitar and Justin Vernon’s vocals, but a stripped down piano and angelic female vocals. Who’s this? My brain asked. Birdy… hmm. Never heard of her. To the Google! Within minutes, I was scrolling in articles to find out the following things: “Birdy,” aka Jasmine Van den Bogaerde, is a British girl who was on some singing contest and peaked inside the top twenty on British charts with this cover and OH MY GOD SHE’S FIFTEEN.

That’s right, people. I wanted to save it as a surprise until after you listen, but really there’s no way. It had to be shared. This girl was fourteen when she recorded “Skinny Love,” and is now fifteen and released an album earlier this month of mostly (all?) covers. And guess what? She’s great. Her voice is incredible. She’s Adele in a fifteen-year-old’s body.

Birdy is just another point on the UK vs. US battle. US fourteen-year-old makes song that makes me want to barf… meanwhile Birdy exists in the UK. There’s no excuse. Rebecca Black wasn’t bad because she’s fourteen. Her lyrics were on par (see: exactly the same) as a Black Eyed Peas song, and her voice was about the same as Ke$ha’s as far as quality. So what’s left? Her age? Listen to Birdy and see if you want to blame age… or just the state of music in the US right now. BOOM! Rant over. Just listen.

“People Help the People”

“Skinny Love”

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