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Single Review: Major Spark – “Birds Aren’t Real”

“Birds aren’t real the government is full of lies / Birds aren’t real drones up in the skies / AI floating up in the sky / Beautifully designed / Looking inside our minds / Don’t get me started on dogs” sings Major Spark in a memorable string of verses near the start of his new single, “Birds Aren’t Real.” Major Spark isn’t pulling any punches in this track, and while the lyrics might sound like the grittiest element to behold here, they’re not the lone component of chaos in the song. “Birds Aren’t Real” is a chest-pounding tribute to humanity, a rebellion against A.I. influence, but more than anything else, it’s an exhibition of what this artist can throw down in the studio.

The string play is woven into the vocal melody seamlessly in this song, but there’s still plenty of definition between the different parts in the master mix. Every level here has been meticulously adjusted to create a wall of harmonization as we get closer to the flash point of catharsis in the chorus, but I wouldn’t say anything feels overly theatrical in “Birds Aren’t Real.” Major Spark doesn’t want to overwhelm us with grandiosity so much as he wants his audience to feel the scope of his emotions here, which he accomplishes excellently.

 

 

Tonality can shape almost any song, regardless of the genre or who happens to be performing it, and on this front, Major Spark’s vocal impacts how listeners will read his lyrics here. This isn’t a multi-interpretive single – it’s the opposite. Major Spark is more than cut and dry with his words, but it’s how he conveys them to us that colorizes the narrative beneath their poetic marriage. He’s putting all of his heart and soul into his execution in “Birds Aren’t Real,” which is something I’d love to see his counterparts in mainstream rock try now and again.

Though the lyrics aren’t conventionally structured in this track, their implied unevenness is essential to making the vocal parts as moody as they ultimately feel (especially outside of the chorus). By arranging the drums ahead of the guitar, there’s an urgency that we never fully escape, even when this song has come to an end. Major Spark’s dire emotion feeds into the instrumental warmth, and when he pulls away from the microphone, we’re left eagerly anticipating his next verse, as though it were the only source of hydration in the middle of a desolate wasteland.

I wasn’t very familiar with Major Spark before I got a pre-release copy of “Birds Aren’t Real,” but I’m now sold on his sound for sure. It’s hard to deny the likeability of this artist’s personality, and though the spotlight is always trained on the cosmetics of his sound, he doesn’t seem egocentric here at all. I’ll be staying tuned for more of his output in the future, and it would be wise for other alternative aficionados who like the kind of stripped-down rock that made indie so exciting to begin with to do so as well.

 

Ryan Parish

 

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