There’s a couple of records that have been calling out to us lately. The first is from the young Jasmine van den Bogaerde who’s better known as Birdy. She was the winner of UK’s popular music competition, Open Mic in 2008…and that’s when she was only 12. Now firmly planted in her teens, Birdy is really taking off. To allow herself more time to hone her songwriting skills…and still finish her homework, she chose to release a collection of cover tunes for her self titled debut. It was her version of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Girl” that first started turning heads and made her a bit of a YouTube sensation. Covers like the toned down Phoenix tune “1901” (see the video below) show off her high taste level as well as remarkable vocal talent. You may also recognize her striking voice from the age appropriate soundtracks from The Hunger Games and Brave. If this is what’s she’s capable of now, just imagine what she’ll accomplish by the time she’s 21.
The other has been at this a little longer with several albums under his belt. He’s Andrew Bird, the one man band that makes whistling and violin picking look like second nature. His latest Break it Yourself is the answer to those who think all new music sounds the same. He’s highly regarded in indie music circles and his work is often described as magical. Anyone who can whistle and fiddle like this…and even be known to rock a glockenspiel…is an artist of the highest order. His 8 minute “Hole in the Ocean Floor” is one of those songs that if you heard it late at night back when FM radio ruled, you’d be forever altered, to the point you’d still be talking about it 30 years later. These days, you’ll just have to settle for catching the YouTube video.