Kingdom of Birds filter rich pop melodies through what occasionally borders on an avant-garde lens in their new record Glitz, and it’s been attracting the attention of critics outside of their own scene and getting audiences curious about the very young band. Reflective of their wide range of influences, songs like “Waiting” and “Dotted Lines” vault between cut and dry garage rock and walloping psychedelia with a heavy bottom-end. “Goodbye” sees Kingdom of Birds dabbling in 60’s folk music with a cosmopolitan edge, and although Glitz is a lot more eclectic than what I would normally enjoy in an indie EP, it’s still an unquestionably bold statement piece from a youthful group of artists.

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“Goodbye” doesn’t bring the heat that “Waiting” or “Dotted Lines” does, but it’s an engaging ballad that has a bit more emotion than the other songs on this record do. “Your Friends” struck me as being a bit forced lyrically, as its acrylic guitar parts are obviously the star of the show, and while “Goodbye” doesn’t disappoint on the instrumental front, its centerpiece is its velvety vocal and the verses that it dispenses. We never see the hooks coming in a Kingdom of Birds song; they just materialize before us, and that’s exquisitely captured in this track.

“Unknown” and “Your Friends” are somewhat overproduced, but their framework is top notch. It’s not all that difficult to see what the band was going for in both of these songs, as each of them channel the same emotionality through their music while seasoning the rhythm with lyrics that could be interpreted a number of different ways. Glitz is really broadminded in this sense, and were it mixed a little more urbanely, it would have been all the more a breakthrough for the band.

To properly judge all five of the songs that we hear in this latest record from Kingdom of Birds, I feel like I would have to see the band on the stage, as tracks like “Unknown,” “Dotted Lines” and “Waiting” were designed with a flexible foundation that could make for some very intriguing jams in a live setting. They’ve got so much energy in this record, so much panache, and while there are some instances where it’s limited by the small-scale scope of the production, it gives me a healthy taste of what could be a really majestic performance in the presence of a roaring crowd that the group could feed off of.

Though not as gripping as Pretty, Glitz brings Kingdom of Birds into the next phase of their burgeoning career and expands on the template that we heard in some of their earlier recordings without over-embellishing stylistic shortcomings. I’m very interested in the idea of this band delving into the noisier aspect of their music, and with the proper mixer behind the glass, they could definitely give up some larger than life riffs that would be quite refreshing for their scene, and really, indie rock in general. Time will tell, but I’d keep tabs on this crew if I were you.

BANDCAMP: https://kingdomofbirds.bandcamp.com/

Michael Rand

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