EP Review: Birch - 'Halfway'.
Birch, a trio out of Brooklyn – driven by the song-writing of singer and synth player Michelle Birsky – are one of the most surprising new outfits I’ve listened to in a long time. Outside of my usual listening habits, this is a mix of electronic, indie-pop, and rock that just keeps on giving.
From the outset the beat and synths of 'Fighting Words' had me tapping my foot. As the track continued, Michelle’s voice struck me as interesting; distinct. Then there’s the quality of the song-writing itself. This, for me, is what sets Birch apart from other artists in their neighbourhood and keeps them interesting. From the opening track’s chorus to the chilled out guitar licks of 'Carolyn', Birch are not messing around.
Guitarist, Emma Munger, who attended college with Michelle, along with Mat Towler, a friend from Brooklyn, came together during the recording of ‘Halfway' to form a bond that is evident in the music they have produced together. The musicianship in ‘Halfway’ positively sparkles with the feeling that has been put into it.
Birsky’s voice is far from the ordinary, but her distinct style accompanies the mixed bag of musical influences that make up Birch’s sound. The title track sees Birch firmly plant their flag in the music scene’s face; “This is our house”.
The final track on the EP shows off yet more of the band’s versatility with Munger’s Jazz-infused guitar and a teasing dub beat, verging on filthy. Combined with Birch’s seasoned lyricism, 'Window(less)' wraps up fifteen minutes of music that will leave you wanting more; the future looks bright for Birch.
Words of Samuel Hylands.
'Halfway' EP is out now and available for digital download via iTunes.