The lines between indie, folk, alternative, and pop rock are becoming more subtle. Indie and alternative are leaning towards lighter, and often, dreamier tones. Folk rock is seeing an explosion of electronic instrumentation. This evolution gives a keen artist the necessary space to push boundaries and create distinct sounds. Jealous of the Birds, the musical project of Northern Ireland-based singer-songwriter Naomi Hamilton, does exactly that with its latest release, Peninsula.
Featuring an expansive 13 song track list, the album covers a lot of ground. Most of the time, the band explores the nuances of modern rock. “Young Neanderthal” is an electric guitar explosion with a delightful alt-rock intensity. “Always Going” builds from a chill, swaying melody to full on rocker thanks to its swell of electric guitar and vocal power. The combination of throwback funk and modern psychedelia on “To The Rind” gets you nodding along to a funky groove, a tambourine beat, and plenty of guitar.
Peninsula also shows us its lighter side where indie daydreams get an infusion of folk-rock melodies and Hamilton’s adaptable voice. The highlight of these tracks must be the closer, “Epistle.” The vocals are gentle and flowing, while an orchestral accompaniment makes it the lushest song on the album. Similarly, the ethereal “Haze On The Hill” benefits from the addition of strings. It has a sprightly folk quality that you would never expect on a rock album.
The range of sounds we get on Peninsula give it a distinctive artful quality. Jealous of the Birds gives us an album to consume, ponder, and most importantly, enjoy.
Peninsula is available on vinyl or on your favorite streaming service: