“Metamorphosis” by Blue Bird | CD Review

by Casey Welsch

In Metamorphosis, Omaha’s new female-fronted indie-pop-Americana-doo-wop band, Blue Bird, has crafted a moving, delicate yet richly instrumented EP.

Blue Bird frontwoman Marta Fiedler describes her band's sound as “make-out music,” and that gets pretty close, but the new album goes deeper than that. Her voice has a kind of mournful beauty that lends itself equally to songs of both joy and pain. And the songwriting runs that gambit plenty.

Blue Bird is a richly orchestrated seven-piece that borrows members from bands such as Eagle Seagull and Thunder Power. The mesh of sounds they produce is gorgeous. Subtle guitars hum behind prominent pianos, with a pipe organ only perceivable if you’re listening for it in the background, and Fiedler’s vocals ever in the foreground.

“It seems like we’ve made it through a lot. You don’t believe in heaven, but you still try for a spot,” she coos on the track “Don’t Leave Me.” “Maybe this is all a test, and maybe it’s not. Could you be content with what you’ve got?”
Lyrically, “Metamorphosis” is emotional without becoming sappy. These are real feelings — relatable feelings. Songs like “Everything Can Change,” a slow, chamber-folk ballad about life's constant little struggles are a perfect example. And Fiedler’s voice has everything it needs to carry everything home. There’s talk of the uncertainty of the future throughout “Metamorphosis.” Who can’t relate?



However, the band sounds as if it's holding back, musically. Each song is very contained, with minimal shifts in momentum throughout. With so many players and so much possibility, I would like to have heard them go for some bigger sounds, some bigger feelings. Let the guitars have some fun. Do more with the keys. They have the manpower, and the womanpower. I think they’re capable.
But maybe that’s just not Blue Bird’s style. They seem perfectly content with their atmospheric, almost-Americana sound, and it sounds good on them.
This is just a five-track EP, but it’s impressive. It sounds great in headphones, and in the car. It hits you right where you need it.
Blue Bird is trying to go on tour, and has a Kickstarter page set up to help fund it. You can help the cause here. See them perform Saturday at Barley Street Tavern, 2735 N. 62nd St., 9 p.m., $5. with Pony Wars and Death of a Taxpayer.

You can listen to some of their tracks here.

Casey Welsch is an editorial intern at Hear Nebraska. He's secure in his masculinity. Contact him at caseywelsch@hearnebraska.org.