Trick Bird is the moniker behind which Cambridge UK singer songwriter Dominic Kershaw releases his refreshing take on the pop song. I say refreshing because these days pop music has been so twisted into so many different forms with so many prefixes that it’s just nice to hear guitar, drums, and vocals un-manipulated by noise or heavy sampling.
His first release as Trick Bird, Window is a five song EP. The songs were handpicked by Kershaw from dozens he had written over the years. Kershaw recorded the songs at home using digital recording software and a Mac computer. He then had it professionally mixed and then mastered it himself. And right there is where it should have all went wrong, and the production value of Window should sound like crap, the way so many self-recorded digital albums seem to sound these days. But Window is a testament to Kershaw’s production talents as much as it is his musical talents. The album sounds professionally done and definitely makes for a better listening experience.
Kershaw wastes no time getting started on his first five song EP Window. The opening track “Window” is like a sweet and poppy punch to the face. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. A jangly guitar riff is paired with a drum beat that exists purely to keep time. Meanwhile Kershaw’s sing-songy vocals lure to a catchy chorus which quickly lodges itself into your brain. This is followed up by the equally poppy though slightly more rocking “Horizontal View.”
Kershaw experiments with some mild synths and vocal overdubs on “The Great Escape.” But his experiment works much better on the mellow swoon inducing “Chase,” which hints at some of the quirky moments of fellow Englishmen Blur. The experiment doesn’t work as well on the closing track “Sleep all Day (Dream all Night)” which doesn’t contain the fervor of the previous four tracks.
Window is a solid first effort both for the quality of its well-crafted pop tunes as it is for its excellent production value. Any unsigned artist looking to make their first solo recording at home would do well to take a peek through Trick Bird’s Window and get a glimpse of the magic going on behind the scenes.
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