Just as country-folk entered a new phase in the first decade of this century/millennium with alt-country, it expanded even further in the last decade, country and indie fans finding a big overlap. One of those who’ve blossomed has been Jade (Elizabeth) Bird, with her wonderful self-titled debut in 2019. Of course, then everything shut down, but Bird persevered, and has now put out another lovely record, Different Kinds of Light.
After the airy sub-minute intro “DKOL”, Light nicely mixes between the upbeat & downbeat like a good country-folk record should (alt- or not). The sunnier pieces are naturally more enjoyable, such as the nice catch/cut/shine “Open Up the Heavens”, indie-revival energy “Trick Mirror”, cheery-but-also-dangerous “I’m Getting Lost”, killer country-rock kiss-off “Candidate”, the swingin’ “Prototype”, and fun yet emotional closer, “Headstart” (QRO review). But Bird can also do the sad cowgirl, like with slow heartbreak title track and breakup “Houdini”.
All those songs mentioned do point out that Different Kinds of Light is a bit overstuffed, but more is better, and it’s not some leaden, ego-stroking double album or anything. Hopefully we can soon see Jade Bird live again (and not just a livestream like she did last year with the Microsoft RE:Surface project), because this is an enjoyable record that should be enjoyed live.