Birdy Bardot's latest record finds singer and band geeking deeper into its exploration of deep pocket grooves and spatial, vintage tones. Birdy Bardot II builds on the evocative songwriting and viby psychedelic soul that earned the Redwoods Music artist widespread acclaim and album of the year considerations for its eponymous 2015 debut, when Bardot's smoky, silky voice earned her fond comparisons to Nancy Sinatra and Grace Slick.
On the new album Birdy raises the temperature, weaving heat into the laid back precision of her backing musicians, mastering vocal inflections across a spectrum of styles. In "Only Need You to Love Me," Bardot casually croons through a wash of surfy acid rock before lifting effortlessly into an uplifting Motown-like chorus. She hits with the streetwise edge of Patti Smith on the smasher "Fortune," then, amid the western strut of "Black Mirror," finds moments of intimacy akin to the sweetness of late-70s Olivia Newton John.
While recalling the focus on lyrical songwriting and tactile performances found in earlier eras, Birdy Bardot and The Redwoods players up cut a contemporary figure with Birdy Bardot II. While they've unearthed bygone keyboards like Ace Tone organ and Suzuki Omnichord synthesizer, here they're repurposed to suit informed present-day sensibilities, composing kaleidoscopic sounds structured around elliptical bass and guitar licks, and constantly shuffling percussion.
"Their songs are just dripping with muscle, sweat and soul."
- Jeff Terich San Diego CityBeat