When a music prodigy emerged on the forefront of Pop radio with covers of Bon Iver and Ed Sheeran , Jasmine van den Bogaerde amazed even casual listeners. Known in music as Birdy, the 14 year old garnered tremendous press with her unique take on a song followed by every millennial who claims to like “indie music,” Skinny Love in 2011. Using just a piano and her graceful vocals for the cover track, Birdy did more than put herself on the map. She made a new one.
Though the Bon Iver cover was outstanding, her debut album showcased more than just one great cover (and you know my affinity for cover songs). Her play on Phoenix’ hit 1901 as well as Fleet Foxes’ White Winter Hymnal and the piano-driven version of James Taylor’s Fire and Rain illustrated prowess for reinvention. Birdy’s debut is not an entire cover album with some breath-taking singles including I’ll Never Forget You.
Three years later and the child has grown much. Birdy’s sound continues to showcase a maturity from her world-renowned presence on TV and in media following the success of her self-titled debut. Birdy’s latest release is titled Fire Within, containing the single Words As Weapons. This song goes beyond the obvious note regarding bullying and emotional abuse. It hits a new chord, both in the musical songwriting as well as the overall lyrical theme. Fire Within has already taken in several music awards, and helped catapult the rising star to new audiences through feature songs in films like Pixar’s Brave and The Fault In Our Stars.
Though the tale of a phoenix is a rise from fire, Birdy illustrates that the fire of success can continue to burn bright. Certainly the young lady who wrote her first few songs and covered some of the biggest acts in music learned many lessons along the way. But the fire present on the latest album is indicative that more great writing is on the way for all of us.