Birds vs Planes – Sew Up the Sky single

A confused, though throughly enjoyable concoction.

(listen here)

Birds vs Planes are a 5 piece alt-indie group from Carlisle with two jangly guitars, a definite and trashy rhythm section, and a ballsy female singer, but this is merely the surface. Admittedly it takes a few listens to realise, but this is a delightfully quirky and idiosyncratic band; and it is these qualities that increase this band’s appeal.

Dissecting this single shows some differing ideas; from a chirpy little guitar lick, to the almost Allison Mosshart-esque strong female vocals, to the rather resigned and self deprocating refrains of ‘You’ve got me, so unlucky’ and ‘passive you / there’s the door to walk through’ and the almost-shoegaze guitar harmony in the climax. In a combination that is drawing clear inspiration from a number of places, the effect is expressing the fairly complex emotions that seem to be occurring in this fairly recognizable and visceral mindset.

However, musically, it suffers from the cleanness of the mix, particularly in the vocals. A chorus that feels as though it should be almost grungy in its style instead feels very sparse, with vocals floating delicately on top, detracting from the weight of the thematic intensity. Also the change into the chorus and back into the riff is slightly clunky.

With these things in consideration, ‘Sew Up the Sky’ is a single that is better than the sum of its parts. It is undeniably catchy; I defy anyone to listen to this song and not feel their hook. It is a song that would almost definitely be improved live due to the need for some of that clashing grunge sound that is helped by the imperfection of live shows. It is a strong single that would hold appeal to fans of many styles and act, and are definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of strong and in your face vocals.

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About Jonathan Lilly

19 year old London based male with a passion for music and a desire to state my opinions on the public domain
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