Wallis Bird releases ‘Salve’ – another new track from the upcoming album, Woman, out later this year on 27 September, via Mount Silver Records/Caroline International.
‘Salve’ is a raucous nod to Wallis Bird’s soulful heritage and musical upbringing. “My dad was a big soul and rock man. I’ve been floating soul vibes my whole life. The last three years have seen so many influential soulful artists die, and during concerts I’d cover Aretha Franklin, Prince, George Michael and Leonard Cohen. They just lit a flame inside me and the audience. As soon as I played deep, old soul, people really reacted and proper got down, so I followed that lead and wrote a lot that way.”
Using this medium, Bird brings us her second single ‘Salve’. Kicking off with a Prince-inspired jam, ‘Salve’ warns us about social media’s more poisonous effects. Although now practising social media abandonment, ‘Salve’ sees Bird’s liberation from a comatose, phone-scrolling state, something we have all experienced.
‘Salve’ is taken from Bird’s upcoming sixth album – Woman, a remarkably polished yet emotionally raw album, a daring synthesis of Bird’s songwriter roots and passion for, among other genres, soul, it’s eleven songs long but 37 minutes short: pointed, powerful, and packed with truths and levity. Written and almost exclusively performed by Bird, with regular associate Marcus Wüst as co-producer – Woman is Bird’s transparent attempt to speak out against injustice and counteract apathy through bold, blunt confessionals. “Like most artists, I’ve probably shirked my responsibilities at times so as not to rock any boats,” she confesses. “But I decided it was time to change that.”
Wallis Bird has released five albums since 2007. She has won two Irish Meteor Awards, Ireland’s annual music prize – mostly recently for Best Female Artist – and her prestigious 2017 German “Musikautorenpreis” (Music Author Prize), as well as two nominations for the Choice Music Prize, Ireland’s equivalent to Britain’s Mercury Prize. This year she was also nominated as Artist of the Year at the 2019 International Folk Music Awards. She has performed some 800 shows this past decade, with her gigs often heralded as legendarily passionate, energetic and good-humoured. Among her admirers is Amanda Palmer, no live slouch herself – “My jaw hit the floor,” she’s said of watching Bird play – but Bird’s modest enough to be equally, if not more thrilled by her growing international reach, with a substantial European following boosted during her last tour by concerts in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan.
This time round, though, Bird knows there’s more at stake. At Woman’s heart lies the concurrent urge to tackle injustice and celebrate the good in human nature, themes demanding immediate attention. “I want more empathy in the world around me,” she concludes, “so I’ve started by writing it into my life. I want to fill rooms with these words. I want to hear these sentiments uttered out loud, and for people to get used to hearing themselves say them. Ultimately, I want these words written into their lives.”
And thus, an age-old proverb is once again validated: no matter how hard they try, you cannot keep a good Woman down.