I always love discovering new music, especially when songs lyrics are so relatable. So, when I heard British singer/songwriter Jade Bird perform one of her new singles on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, I was instantly hooked.
Released April 19th, her debut album titled “Jade Bird” details the frustration and anger that comes with the disappointing end to a relationship. The album features a combination of angsty upbeat tracks and some more emotional songs about the pain she has felt from breakups, which hits home. After listening to the album, one thing is clear: Bird effortlessly communicates a sophisticated and thoughtful message to her listeners.
Bird starts off her album with the track “Ruins”, where she describes how quickly a relationship can turn south and the fear that goes into fully committing yourself to one person. For me, the song really hit home. Dating someone while still trying to figure out who you are as a person is hard and the song shows how this can be damaging to a relationship.
Key lyric: “I mean it when I say I’m not sure who I am”
Through the clever metaphor between love and gambling in her song “Lottery,” Bird strikes a chord within all those still holding onto love hoping it will pan out. Bird does a wonderful job at showing how frustrating it can be to realize that your relationship may not work out and that things are completely out of your control.
Key Lyric: “You’ve got your numbers and you’re betting on me”
I Get No Joy
In “I Get No Joy,” Bird takes a break from the central relationship theme of the album and takes an apathetic stance on life, emphasizing how most of us young adults feel content with our surface level lives. Her powerhouse vocals in the chorus express the anger that comes from having no explanation as to why certain things happen to us in our lives. Bird is telling listeners that it’s okay to not feel happy all the time and that you shouldn’t have to put on a fake facade when you’re actually miserable on the inside.
Key Lyric: “You live, you learn, you love, you’re dead”
Photo Credit: NPR
Ever been so caught up in a flame that you lose track of reality and begin to question all you ever knew? Jade Bird sings about these feelings in her song “Side Effects” as she shows how girls can lose themselves because of love and yet be excited about this feeling of disorientation. Bird’s quick-tempered guitar playing and the juxtaposition in her lyrics make us feel the rush that comes with a new love.
Key lyric: “Give me a sign and we’ll go”
Perhaps the most inspirational track on the whole album, “My Motto” highlights the internal struggle between holding on or letting go of past love. This song is one of the hardest to listen to as it hits home and reveals how difficult it can be to move on from a person you love, but who constantly hurts you. Bird shows listeners that it’s better to maintain your dignity and be lonely, rather than to remain in a toxic relationship.
Key Lyric: “If it hurts too much to stay then let him go”
Does Anybody Know
Ever feel the emptiness that comes with being ghosted? Well, Jade Bird explores just that in “Does Anybody Know.” The beat at the beginning of the track sounds like a heartbeat as Bird realizes that the relationship is simply over and she can’t do anything about it. This track is for any girl who ever wants to hold onto something that may be entirely lost, but choose not to let go and instead put out this one last desperate call, hoping someone is listening.
Key Lyric: “Does anybody know you like I do?”
Photo Credit: Glide Magazine
This track has to be my favorite on Bird’s album. This song is by far the most upbeat, with quick guitar riffs, clever word plays, and steady percussion. While we all want to move on from an ex, we cannot help but sit back if we see that they are moving on too with someone else. Bird explores this concept and talks about how her ex has moved on with someone who treats him as badly as he used to treat her. The whole song reads like the perfect revenge letter and is bound to be your new shower bop!
Key Lyric: “Talks about the guys at work so you feel ego-central”
Good At It
At this point in the album, one cannot help but feel Bird’s pain. In the song “Good At It,” Bird makes it clear that she was left by her ex for someone new. Like anyone who has faced this type of rejection, Bird asks her former partner questions revolving around why he moved on from her with someone else. Bird finds no answer to her pressing questions and is left with her crafty wordplay. She pokes fun at the notion that her ex’s new girlfriend must be a lot better at love than she was.
Key Lyric: “Does she hold so tight in the middle of the night you forget I was ever alive?”
“17” is another song that is hard to listen to in full, but necessary as it taps into the pain we have all felt over the feel of losing someone who we love. “17” taps into how we turn into fragile high school teens who are so wrapped up in their first love when we start to care for another. We may act like we don’t care on the outside, in fear of getting rejected, but in reality, we’re all incredibly vulnerable at this age still.
Key Lyric: “Please let me explain why I act so mean”
Photo Credit: NME
Love Has All Been Done Before
While the ending of a relationship can be painful, sometimes being in a relationship that has gone stale can be just as maddening. Bird details this feeling in her track “Love Has All Been Done Before” as the idea of plain love is boring to her. The lyric is a message to the earnest boy who is simply not enough for Bird, which is an unfortunate discovery I am sure a lot of us have made at some point or another.
Key Lyric: “You are good and you are pure, the angel knocking at my door”
Sometimes when two people are dating, the relationship can seem lopsided if only one person is putting in all the effort, as Bird explores in her track “Going Gone.” The track is about having to be responsible for cleaning up after your boyfriend’s messes and mistakes. If a man has no direction in life and is one foot out the door already, it’s time to say good-bye. This song is a foot tapper for sure!
Key Lyric: “I’m your girlfriend, not your maid”
If I Die
While the track may have a somber title, its lyrics bring attention to how a significant part of our society has forgotten what life is truly about. The track “If I Die” showcases the raw and honest vocals of Bird as she talks about how she wants to be remembered when she dies. Bird wants people to remember her in words in the form of songs, not just superficial memorials. This song communicates the overarching theme of the album, which centers around the process of devoting oneself to another individually, while still holding onto a unique identity.
Key Lyric: “Put me in words, not hallelujahs, they come from the heart and they’ll ring true”
It is important that we support artists on the rise, especially those like Bird who are bringing attention to various issues that young women experience as they try to navigate the world of relationships. In today’s somewhat artificial and complex music world, Bird’s raw emotion and superb guitar playing is refreshing.