From “Dotted Lines” to the more literal “Your Friends,” indie rockers Kingdom of Birds explore themes, imagery and experiences drawn from their own youth in the new EP Glitz, fusing original lyricism with classic narratives in five songs that each address a different element within the band’s skillset.
The rip-roar “Unknown” and “Waiting” are brought here to give us a high definition sample of Kingdom of Birds’ unique guitar tones; the music video for the crisp, harmony-driven “Goodbye” delivers the ambient textures of its source material in visuals that are just as obtuse; and in “Your Friends” and “Dotted Lines,” the band tries their hand at progressive, postmodern pop and submit some interesting (be them slightly fractured) results.
I like the really raw mix that we hear in Glitz for a few different reasons. Right out of the gate with “Dotted Lines,” it’s like there’s nothing coming between artist and audience as we absorb all of the vicious vocal melodies wreaking havoc with the deadly-sharp drumming. The video for “Goodbye” is a lot more polished than the song is on its own, but the contrast between the shots and the slow-churning verses is rather charismatic. “Waiting” bounces with a big bassline, and even though it’s about thirty seconds longer than I think it needs to be, it isn’t nearly as bloated as some of the tracks that I’ve heard from this band’s American contemporaries lately.
This music seems almost explicitly designed for a live environment, and no matter how many times I go over the fine-line grooves in “Unknown,” “Waiting” and “Your Friends,” I can’t help but wonder how much of the resonance in the guitar parts is studio-generated. If the presence that they’ve got in Glitz were to carry over to the stage, I think that these songs would be even more fetching than they are in the state that we find them in here. Kingdom of Birds aren’t a household name yet, but as they start to find their footing in the Canadian pop lexicon, their work is following suit and growing into its own just as the players are.
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