“Elephant” – Bird to Beast

5 stars (out of 5)

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Hannah optimisedI saw Bird to Beast live for the first time in November 2013 supporting Black Casino and the Ghost at The Finsbury in north London and they were excellent, performing stripped-back arrangements of their album material to an enthusiastic audience.  The single “Elephant” is the second release from Bird to Beast’s debut album, following “To Lips from Lungs” in September 2013.

“Elephant” is a joyously over-the-top mixture of vocal stylings from the 50s and 60s (the intro could be the Andrews Sisters or an arrangement from “Glee”) and a production which Joe Meek would have been proud of.  The first two verses feature Sam Hird’s high tenor vocals set against Hannah Hird’s beautiful harmony backing vocals before moving into a middle eight (ok, middle sixteen) built around 60s organ(Farfisa rather than Hammond) arpeggios.  The outro is a series of choruses with a couple of upwards modulations building up to a proper ending (no fade-out copout here).

This single is melodic, nostalgic, packed with ideas and is just great fun.  I can’t think of anything better to start the year with; you really should give it a listen.

Physical release January 13, 2014.