Album Review: “Belonging” – Dorothy Bird

Dorothy Bird’s debut album is here…. 
Let’s do this. 
  1. Galaxy 
This is a short instrumental, you could almost call this the prelude to the project, it’s lovely piano piece with what I am assuming is a cello, it’s gorgeous and just whisks you away… and just like that we are in.
  1. Belonging 
We are greeted by Dorothy’s gorgeous voice  over piano and some ethereal sounds… very intriguing to the ear.
One of the things I like about Dorothy’s voice is that it’s calming. Suited to a lullaby. 
However! At 1:15 full instrumentation kicks in – drums played with brushes, lush string arrangement and a bass just keeping it simple with no rhythmic playing but just holding down the floor… this song is full of ups and downs and emotions.
Well executed. Nice bit of arranging as well. 
Chef’s kiss to all involved. 
  1. Silent Warrior
Drums! Synths! This is a very powerful track, the vocals come through strongly over a backing that plods along nicely, the key here is the vocal, and boy does Dorothy deliver! I love the synth lead playing the higher octave on this, it hasn’t gone unnoticed. 
  1. Ghosts
This track begins with what I can only describe as a low wind rumble, it’s very faint, and then Dorothy’s vocals accompanied by piano. The part that I love is at 1:26 where the chorus comes in and it’s the chord progression over that… There’s a short guitar interlude before the second verse, which was nicely executed. Overall this track is beautifully arranged, and probably in my top three on this album. 
  1. My Heart
This starts off with a deep bass and reversed synths, and Dorothy’s vocals come in over the top. Breathy this time.
There’s a flutter of percussion, the thing that catches my ear is the delay on the hi hats, and the use of reversed cymbals in the sonic arsenal. 
The chorus is sung in Dorothy’s higher register, and she sings it beautifully, this is folktronica territory, and it’s done so well…
Lots of ear candy here.
  1. Kaleidoscope
This is where I was introduced to Dorothy in March 2021, via the Fresh Faves. This is what I had to say about the track.
Now, this is haunting… piano, cello, deep bass… then the vocal. Oh this is beautiful. According to the information on Bandcamp this track is dedicated to her niece, and as an uncle myself to two beautiful young ladies making their mark in the world this totally resonates with me. The lyrics are poetic and draws you in from the first line, “All Is full of wonders since you are around / You marvel ‘bout everything / pure beauty is what all new brings”.
Dorothy Bird works as a singer and composer from Berlin and Liverpool (Hey! That’s my spiritual Mecca! Or MACCA???). She uses analogue synths (I need to check this out as I love my synths). Great work Dorothy. MORE!
  1. The Evening
The thing I like about this song is the chord progression that’s played here. There are some suspended fourths in there, I like those – not enough used in music nowadays…. 
Oh yeah. 
This is in 6/8 time! 
Oh my heart…
Dorothy breaks out the strings again, this gives the song an emotional lift, Dorothy could have gone with synths for this but no, the strings work just fine, and they’re beautifully arranged too.
I like the drum sounds used here, I may need to get the name of the library for this…. 
  1. Under Water
Dorothy uses her synths here, to create a soundscape that just catches the ear, it’s a gentle listen, and is gorgeous to listen to.
Then Dorothy blessed us with her voice again, this is a breathy performance and I like it… 
Nice analogue sounding drums, with a guitar that wanders into the room….
This is very dreamy. I like that. 
  1. Forgot 
I like the way the rim shot has a bit of reverb on there, giving it a ring out sound…
This track is sparse, Dorothy’s voice sits front and centre again, but I like how the bass changes tactics at the 2:19 mark…
I played this on my show recently and it’s probably my favourite track from the entire project. It just caught my ear with Dorothy’s soaring vocals, especially in the chorus, from comfortable low register to high end. 

10. Change

This starts off really atmospheric, I like the synth choice here in the intro…. The drums are slightly laidback, the hi hat sounds suitably dusty, and I like that….
The piano is beautifully played on this, and is the first thing that I noted down, I can bet this is where the song started life out… I also like the guitar tone on this. 
The vocals are very dreamy, and when I close my eyes to listen, it just whisks me away… I think on an album of beautiful performances on each track, this is probably my favourite vocal performance.
A worthy choice for an album closer!

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