• Gloria Tang

Blynd Birds New Album 'Songs To Sink Yachts To'

Blynd Birds fill its Songs To Sink Yachts To album with plenty of variety. In some cases, this trio sounds a lot like specific other bands. For instance, on “Hate For Hire,” vocalist Jared Blair vocalizes like he’s fronting The National, his voice sounds so much like Matt Berninger. It’s likely not intentional. If it is, and things don’t work out for Blynd Birds though, Blair has a future as a The National tribute band.



Listen to the album here:



Blair then sings so much different during “Burnt Plastic,” where his voice is pushed more and is slightly strained. Blynd Birds is a trio, which also features bassist Rachel Allred and drummer Simon Hilsman. In addition to singing, Blair also plays guitar for the act.


The album’s title is a bit of a head scratcher. Perhaps it’s a poke at yacht rock, a subgenre built around breezy ‘70s rock sounds. Clearly, this is not at all breezy music. Most of these selections are loud rock & roll tunes. Nevertheless, the project does include quieter inclusions, such as “Everybody Knows,” which rocks, but with subtle, gentle twang. Even softer and quieter, though, is “The Otter & The Fox,” with a title that reads like a children’s story. Blair sounds weary while singing it over just an acoustic guitar. The acoustic guitar work is lovely, as this sad lyric is given a hushed rendition. Let’s not forget “Hand In The Till,” which has what sounds like a cheesy Farfisa organ in its intro and running all the way through the track. It’s like a Tex-Mex Interpol. On “Naked In A Booth,” Blair sounds a bit like Mark Bolan, due to a distinct swagger in his singing.


The album closes with one titled “Your Bath Is Boiling.” It’s driven by a glorious, fuzzed out electric guitar part. It’s short, too, at only 2:02. It sounds a little like prog-meets-psychedelic music and is a lumbering instrumental piece. The album begins as it finishes, with an instrumental. This one is called “Mr. Abbott’s Misogyny Emporium,” and is rolling, rollicking sonic rollercoaster.


There’s a lot of different sounds and styles on Songs To Sing Yachts To. Variety may be the spice of life, but it is entirely an essential when it comes to creating an enjoyable album. Only a few bands (Ramones are one) were/are able to make a career out of basically playing the same song over and over again, only with different lyrics. And yes, that is an over-simplification. But you get the point. Albums with songs that sound too similar, get old quick. This is not one of those.


About the only criticism one might level at Songs To Sink Yachts To is that it is, at only 30 minutes, too short. That’s even shorter than a lot of vinyl LPs back in the day. Always leave ‘em wanting more, as the old showbiz adage used to go, and perhaps this was Blynd Birds’ intention. Then again, another saying suggests that the best things in life come in small packages. Without a doubt, this is one of those ‘best things.’


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-Dan MacIntosh