Album Review: Shining Bird, Leisure Coast
I must admit that The Shining Bird are new to me. Every description in their press release sounded so lovely that I was sure it would be my thing. Surfers, poets and a dreamy beach town. They record in a solar-powered home studio nestled into the Pacific coast. The press release likened the town to Venice Beach – one of my favorite places in LA. But alas, it was mostly hype for me. I was expecting something totally different than the 80’s vibe that I got, but that’s mostly my fault to be sure. When I think of another time, I usually think farther than the 80’s. Don’t ask why, but when I hear that, I tend to think farther back.
Typically, I listen to records over and over again before reviewing, but I found it hard to even make it through the album once. I am now gritting my teeth as I force myself to give it another go. It’s light, it’s airy, it’s relaxed and full of elements that I would usually love. I just personally cannot do this certain brand of 80’s techno-pop laced throughout. In saying that, I really love the lyrics most of the time. They are certainly poetic. From You Won’t Feel A Thing: “The world is grieving while we are sleeping down by the maple tree.”
Musically, however, it doesn’t feel very complex. The songs all sound similar. A huge problem for me. I also feel that the heavy reliance on electronics makes the album feel cold no matter how much light they try to fill into the songs. Singer Dane Taylor’s voice leaves me feeling like he or I took one too many Valium – maybe both of us. His vocal has the same tonality throughout the whole album. There is not much range or complexity.
This album might not be my thing, but if you’re into dreamy 80’s techno-pop sounds, give it a listen. You’ll probably love it and think I’m a dope.
Review by Tenley Nordstrom.
If you want to give Shining Bird a listen, their album is out now and they are playing a few live shows around Australia soon:
Fri Oct 4th @ Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong
Sat Oct 12th @ Goodgod, Sydney
Fri Oct 18th @ Workers Club, Melbourne
Fri Oct 25th @ Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane