Ukulele and handclaps create a charming acoustic backdrop for the intro to Birds of a Feather, the first track from Brother Spellbinder’s EP, We Were Children Yesterday.
Alzara Getz’s rapid vibrato and tone bring to mind Clare Grogan of quirky 80s band Altered Images, and also Shivaree’s Ambrosia Parsley, but the vibe here is fresh and wonderfully honest and raw. The plethora of acoustic instruments makes the track come alive with human energy and focus. It’s simply stunning to hear each instrument’s voice captured, treated and mixed with such care.
It makes me feel like I’ve wandered into a hall and caught this song being recorded live, straight into the desk, without any digital assistance or enhancements – as they aren’t necessary. Only the occasional use of delay on the vocal indicates that there’s a tad more production magic being sprinkled around for spot effects than might appear obvious on a first listen.
The curtains open on a more full-band sound as drums, bass, guitar and real strings warm up proceedings. Then Getz’s voice harmonises with itself and there is more wonder to enjoy as the rapid vibrato creates some unique sonic colours. The song’s arrangement is a joy to behold, the rhythms changing and pushing and pulling across the duration to create interest, and it’s always lovely to hear a properly-realised outro.
It’s a mature, thoughtful and yet playful exploration of sound. I love the singer’s voice, the song’s narrative, and I have to say that the other songs on We Were Children Yesterday sound similarly diverting. Spellbinding, in fact!
Check out the EP via Bandcamp.