Updated: 3 days ago
Just when it seemed as if 2020 would leave us with no way to release from the burdens we carried within her, Hattiesburg, MS songstress and poet, Bird, tugs on our heartstrings through her new visual EP, Phoenix. With intimate visuals paired with boundless penmanship and cashmere vocals, Bird ushers us into our personal pyres of love and rebirth.
“When the fire comes, do not run,” are the first words that audibly greet us. This poem is the foreshadowing of the ignition of self to come. We see her sitting between her grandmother’s legs, a sacred moment where they are touching and agreeing in prayer. Bird then leads us directly to the light in “Sun/Ra”. We see godly movements of her clothed in all white, feet in the sand and afro reaching for the heavens while a fleet of birds behind her affirm every move she makes. This is contrasted with a close, shadowed scene of her singing directly into a ray of sun and boundless smoke. “It’s crazy how lately, you’re all I need” can easily be interpreted as a message to a lover, yet as we listen closely, it seems to be a realization for and to herself.
Bird captures a peaceful acceptance in the differing dynamic between two lovers’ energy in “Vibe”. It is refreshing to see the soft, casual romance that is portrayed on screen between her and her love interest. She repetitively declares that she, and this being, will individually be alright. It is hopeful and empowering. Immediately after, we are guided into an acknowledgment of sacred exchange of energy and self in the angelic ballad, “Becoming Dust”. The songstress inhabits an earthy, bamboo haven where she delivers her vulnerable truth. There is a coming to terms with writing about, thinking of, crying over a companion who she knows is no good to her. It's a raw, revealing record of lingering love and loyalty.
As if she knows that the tears are flowing, Bird takes time to engage us in a second poem with startling, direct words to herself, as well as whoever else needs to hear them. “I thought I lost God, again. Somewhere between accepting a lover that lies and settling for self betrayal, I forgot my birthright.” We see an undoing of being as the character on screen is left alone after bickering with a partner. It’s difficult to place her exact feelings as she is going through the motions, a distant gaze in her eyes. With Bird’s prose backing these visuals, she evokes hope. She remembers her sacred divinity, she remembers that “God has been a gift in me this whole time.”
“They’re There I” feels like a comforting hug from the sun, stunningly shot and beautifully written. It fittingly begins in a sanctuary with Bird graciously clothed in all black as if she is attending a funeral for her previous self. She also runs freely in a field, and it feels amazing to see her physically moving forward, chasing her. This song feels like healing, like remembering that your soul has always been, is always, and always be there for and with you.
The final song on the project, Pharaoh, is a powerful song of self awareness, celebration of newness, it’s an anthem of unity and oneness within. How Bird so effortlessly takes us back in time to a jazz club in the 1900’s while also grounding us in the needed unity of today is ingenious. This is the only song on the project that Bird invites a feature and Tye Free does not waste his moment given to express. The synergy between the two is timeless and high spirited, closing this masterpiece out in a bold, optimistic and jubilant energy.
No matter where you are in your journey of self, love, and self love, Bird makes sure that “Phoenix” meets you where you are, takes your hand, and guides you deeper into your own furnace, reminding every listener that through the fire, you too will rise.
Directed by Kaleb and Tina Mitchell
Production Company: MitchellMedia