London Album Release Show For Wallis Bird

London Album Release Show For Wallis Bird

Wallis Bird will celebrate her stunning new self-titled album – her third – with a show at the famous Dingwalls in Camden on Thursday 5th April.

Accompanied by her full band, Wallis is both a whirling dervish and a winningly engaging personality on stage, and this will be the first opportunity for Wallis to connect with her UK fans since the record’s release.

The new album ‘Wallis Bird’ will be released 12th March 2012, with the single ‘Encore’ to be released a week earlier, both on Rubyworks.
Wallis Bird cannot – and should not – be pigeonholed easily. Honest to a fault about the facets, flaws and fascinations of her character, the Irish performer’s self-titled third album presents all the contradictions and complications that create her effervescent personality, and juxtaposes them against the world around her.

‘Wallis Bird’ marks a progression, a record deliberately self-titled to mark it out as the defining statement of her career so far. A double Meteor Award winner in her native Ireland, Bird’s new album follows her debut ‘Spoons’ and 2009’s ‘New Boots’, both of which saw her garner critical acclaim and tour with the likes of Billy Bragg, Gabrielle, The Feeling & Rodrigo y Gabriela.

Capable of the tender, gossamer-thin ballads that her tiny 5ft2 frame would suggest, Wallis can also summon up a whirlwind of passion and rage in the blink of an eye. So the confident strut that informs ‘Encore’ nestles alongside the astonishing vitriol of ‘Who’s Listening Now’, the delicate ‘Feathered Pocket’, the folky “coming-of-age confessional” of ‘In Dictum’ and the almost carefree ‘Heartbeating City’; all disparate musical elements that go towards creating the whole that is Wallis Bird as a songwriter.

‘Wallis Bird’ was written and recorded in three places that, while geographically separate, were all deliberately chosen to impose their unique atmospheres onto the songs. From the communist broadcasting station in Berlin of the former GDR where the government broadcast its propaganda until the Berlin wall came down; to an isolated ghostridden cottage on a godforsaken cliff edge in Ireland during the worst snowstorms in thirty years; to her own flat in Brixton against a backdrop of screaming sirens and looting as the London riots threatened to overrun the city. The result is a record that strives to makes sense of the chaos around us all – the first single ‘Encore’ is Wallis’ tacit admission that “it is almost impossible to slow down these days … everyone needs to pause and reflect sometimes.”

This attempt to harness the atmosphere of each location lent itself to Wallis’ lyrical standpoint for the record as well. “I collected lyrics from conversations held with all types of people from the privileged to the broken, and scripted their songs to the backdrop of unusual rooms” where microphones would be constantly recording. The result was “a record built on a strange synergy where lyrics reflected and contradicted their sounds, and spontaneous noises deflected and inspired performances.”

This notably rears its head on ‘Heartbeating City’, which was inspired by having to halt recording sessions in Brixton due to the volume of street activity – “I began to hear an orchestration in the sirens and craziness … so I placed a microphone in the room, and let the noises write their song for me.” As a result the album ended up taking on a life of its own, one which was “quarrelsome to reign in but extremely educating.”

Wallis’ live shows have gained her a devotional fan-base. Her performances transition seamlessly from the defiant anthems that can motivate thousands of festival-goers into a rousing sing-a-long to the most hushed and fragile ballads that can captivate an audience into a spellbound silence. Wallis has also played some of Europe’s biggest festivals, with her recent appearance at Paris ’ Rock En Seine Festival prompting French paper Le Monde to hail her set as one of the highlights of the festival alongside Arcade Fire.

An exceptional guitarist, her unique playing style only adds to the intrigue of her performances. Following a childhood accident which permanently damaged her left hand, Bird learned to play her instrument flipped back to front, thus having to create her own bafflingly complex chord fingerings, much to the bewilderment of any musicians in the audience.

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