Jealous of the Birds - Parma Violets - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Jealous of the Birds - Parma Violets

by Al Brown Rating:8 Release Date:2016-04-08

Jealous of the Birds is the solo project of Irish singer-songwriter Naomi Hamilton, who has a folk-scene background but embraces a range of styles on what could broadly be described as an ‘indie’ album, with the varied palette of influences (including folk) that implies in the current, catholic, indie world.

Firstly, song titles: who even cares, right? But I can’t think of anything worse than naming a song after a de riguer ‘superfood’. ‘


Lo-fi punk song ‘Russian Doll’ is another pared-down belter: crisp power-chords, cheap drum machine and Hamilton coolly spilling some break-up truths over the top. “Despite how I just want to punch you in the face/My favourite smell on this earth is still your pillow case” almost begs to be quoted, but Hamilton’s lyrics are dead-on throughout: descriptive but never flowery; precise yet still open to interpretation.

‘Dandelion’ is hopeful, sleepy and vaguely psychedelic in lyrical theme (“Your life’s a dandelion whirl/From the window every colour swirls”) though not musically, sticking to some clean fingerpicked guitars and excellent cellos. The hilarious nursery-rhyme taunts of ‘Marcus’ provide a full-stop to the slightly-less compelling mid-section of the album (there’s another funny reference to punching someone in the face) after which the breezy, Pixies-esque ‘Purple Octopus’, the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin ‘Mountain Lullaby’ and the uneasy ‘Hornet’s Nest’ make for a strong finish.

This is an impressive album: the singing is great, the arrangements are minimal but powerful and the production is perfect: pin-sharp yet somehow slightly lo-fi. It’s a brilliant showcase for Hamilton’s confident, distinctive voice – a voice great enough to make even the handful of unremarkable songs here worthwhile.

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