To listen to Jade Bird sing is to adore Jade Bird. Now imagine chatting with her on the phone.

As I waited quietly on the other end of the conference line, her bubbly greeting eased any worries I had about asking dumb questions.  

Bird, an English singer-songwriter, is only a year older than I am but exudes the confidence and clarity of someone much older and experienced. That’s thanks to the years she spent healing and growing from an emotional long-term breakup and incredible life changes, including writing and recording her latest EP Burn The Hard Drive out today, April 10.

But Bird isn’t hardened by the experience of growing up. Instead, she exhibits a certain lightness and joy that’s infectious—her laugh made me feel like I was talking to a lifelong friend. Which is why when she told me she was an avid reader, I immediately shifted the conversion to her reading habits and requested to be her friend on Goodreads.

This is all to say that Bird is wholly herself, which she says was a long time coming.  

“When you’re young and you release music, you get very wrapped up in the momentary feeling that [your music] will either change the world or it fails,” Bird says. “In reality, none of those things happen. I’m feeling renewed and proud of myself. This EP made me look back at my younger self with such fondness.”  

Bird has been a lot less hard on herself, as well, embarking on a spring acoustic North American tour that starts in Houston on April 11. She’ll play a mix of new, old and unreleased tunes.

Jade Bird Open Up The Songbook Tour

She says she feels privileged to be in a position where she can create for a living, but she does treat it as a job. On her Substack, titled Open Up The Songbook, Bird wrote that she plans to write a lot during this solo tour, hoping to post demos weekly and lessen the pressure she puts on herself.  

“I’m so intrigued because I’m back to solo where I feel my best. I want to get out my guitar and feel the vibe,” she says. “It’s this approach to getting back to Jade, and I have this appreciation for my old Jade—18-year-old Jade. It was bloody nuts.”  

The acoustic shows will be intimate and solely about songwriting, which helps her feel in control of how she comes across to the audience.  

“It’s just a beautiful conversation. I’ve been doing this since I was 14, and that’s why I feel so at home doing it,” Bird says. “I’m nervous and want to put on a good show but, ultimately, when I’m up there I feel like I was born to do it.”  

Smaller, acoustic shows become more immersive and are a collaborative experience with the audience, she says, while shows with a full band are a bit more rigid—at a quicker pace.  

“For this kind of thing, where I’m trying to find myself again and let people in on that, this is how it must be—it’s where I started and where I’m beginning again,” Bird says.  

As for her new EP, where she begins again is a place of experimentation and creative fun. Collaborating with producer Mura Masa for all five songs, Bird says it was a very self-contained project.  

Masa would hop on the piano and play a crazy ballad or a sample, and she’d be immediately writing in her notebook. Toward the end of the process, they wrote the single Burn The Hard Drive alone in the studio. When they went back and listened, digging it out of the archives, she came to realize the song was foreshadowing her present life and the end of her relationship—but didn’t know it at the time.  

“He gave me the confidence and strength to be like, ‘that’s kind of what it’s all about Jade, being vulnerable,’” Bird says. “That’s the gift of song.”  

Burn The Hard Drive was the first single released from the EP, and it immediately piqued my interest. It’s audibly different from Bird’s past work, in terms of production and the use of synth. It’s a groovy tune about moving on, getting rid of the memories so you don’t have to look back on the good times or the pain of it all. While sad in content, the tone is optimistic, making me want to get up and dance every time I hear it.  

“It gives me this new shard of sound,” she says. “I was super excited to know I could go a bit more electronic.”

As she finishes up a full-length album, Bird says her next release will go back to the roots of folk rock and her debut album, which barely had synth. “That’s kind of me—I’m like 80 years old,” she laughs.  

Bird knows who she is now, in music and in life, comfortable with pushing the envelope. She looks up to artists like Kate Bush, who was constantly moving into a new sphere of sound. In Bird’s perfect world, people won’t know what to expect next from her.

As for Burn The Hard Drive and her acoustic tour, Bird hopes fans can see the real her and resonate with it. “I want people to know me in an authentic way that I actually am,” she says. 

Physically and mentally, Bird is in a completely different place than she was a few years back. She feels back to herself and is in a new relationship. Simply, she feels really good.  

“It’s important to contextualize what I was going through privately because that’s when I write,” Bird says. “Me and my manager were having this conversation about the writing process, and he said it’s sort of like I’m mining my emotions. I thought that was so on-point.”

As an artist, that’s kind of her job—to dig all this shit up, she says. Ultimately, it gives her strength to share and hopefully to relate to others.  

To conclude the EP, Bird speaks of her song Breaking The Grey, which was written toward the end of the pandemic when “we were all in a room feeling down and out.  

“Sometimes, in those environments, my instincts kick in, and we need this [emotional] song to make us feel a little bad,” she says. It’s about giving in to those emotions. Despite that, the song is joyful and reflective.  

Burn The Hard Drive is a deep and sad account of moving on for the better. But instead of being slow and melancholy, Bird reinvents that sadness, transforming it into something quite freeing and groovy.  

“There’s a freedom in realizing that the world doesn’t revolve around you,” Bird says. “It’s more about what you can offer the world instead.”  

Start with Jade Bird’s song Lottery. It’s one of her earlier releases, but she says it was a time that she wrote something so uniquely her. It’s the all-around Jade Bird experience. 

Pay attention to the power and vigor in Bird’s vocalization. Her storytelling is clear, and she uses vocal range to convey her emotions.  

Kendall Polidori is The Rockhound, Luckbox’s resident rock critic. Follow her reviews on Instagram and X @rockhoundlb, TikTok @rockhoundkp