These days bands such as Coldplay and Radiohead are heading east for influences. So, why should indie folk singer Jasmine Van Den Bogaerde aka Birdy be left behind? The 19-year-old's recently-released third album, "Beautiful Lies," not only shows off her musical sensibilities but also shows that she has evolved into a musician who can take influences from various genres of music and create something quite unique.
One minute into the opening track "Growing Pains" and all I could think of were lines from a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, "What does little birdie say/ In her nest at peep of day?/ Let me fly, says little birdie/ Mother, let me fly away./ Birdie, rest a little longer,/ Till the little wings are stronger./ So she rests a little longer,/ Then she flies away. [sic]"
It is true that Birdy did fly away towards the East for this album. But what is more remarkable is that she took her piano training and sensibilities with her. Perhaps that is why "Beautiful Lies" is oriental but not quite.
The album has influences from eastern music molded so carefully with piano-based indie folk/indie pop that sometimes you forget that you are actually listening to a British singer. Come to think of it, "Beautiful Lies" is not just almost-oriental indie folk. It has influences of atmospheric dream pop, ambient pop and ethereal wave as well.
Another striking aspect of this record is that it seems more like a confession when you listen to it carefully. "Beautiful Lies" is quieter and mellower than both her previous releases. The fact that Birdy is an introvert by nature reflects in the album's lyrics and melodies. The innocence and dedication with which Birdy has sung those lyrics add to the album's overall ambiance. Birdy's voice almost blends into the sound itself and gives it the genuineness it projects to the listener. "Keeping Your Head Up" is a good example of this.
That being said, the album is quite lengthy. It has a total of 14 tracks and plays for almost an hour. So, it is best if you listen to it with time in hand. Also, without patience and concentration, it might seem a bit monotonous at times. But overall, "Beautiful Lies" is quite a simulating aural experience. I would like to go back to it time and again.
"Lost It All," "Silhouette," "Deep End" and "Beautiful Lies" are the highlights of the album for me.
Buy and download the album here.