EP Review: Jealous Of The Birds

Jealous Of The Birds - Wisdom Teeth EP (Hand In Hive)

Jealous Of The Birds (aka Naomi Hamilton).

Jealous Of The Birds (aka Naomi Hamilton).

When JOTB - aka County Armagh's Naomi Hamilton - emerged with her 2016 debut album Parma Violets, it was clear that an exciting and hugely talented indie singer-songwriter had arrived.

That album was dominated by Hamilton's strong sense of melody; knack for creating a catchy chorus; poetic, image soaked lyrics; and the effortless moves between acoustic ballads and 1990s style slacker-rock. Hamilton now returns with this new EP, one boasting an altogether bigger, bolder, sound; a more adventurous sense of arrangement; all imbued with an even greater level of confidence.

'Blue Eyes' is the hardest rocking song she has recorded so far, punctuated by heavy bass riffs, and an unapologetically mid-1990s quiet/loud dynamic. This aside, the EP's 19 minutes tends rather towards the acoustic and mellow, which are nonetheless underwritten by a sense of strength and drive.

There is an almost George Harrison style rumination to the waltzing 'Marrow', as Hamilton contemplates chance, randomness, and existence, all building to the epic, graceful, sweep of its chorus. 'Kosiskelu' shares something of that structure, but displays even more boldness and inspiration. The waltz time returns on the vaguely psychedelic country-folk of 'Clementina', the closest sounding song here to the Parma Violets era, but it also reveals how Hamilton has grown even from that high point. Overall Wisdom Teeth augurs very well for the next JOTB album.

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