Tiny Birds, tiny portions. This London quintet deal in brevity, following up their eight-song, 25-minute debut album Hymns For The Careless with this new five-track EP.
While not straying too far from the folk-pop template that has got them this far, there are signs that the band are beginning to expand their sound – and particularly that they may have been listening to a fair bit of Vampire Weekend since Hymns was released last year.
That is never more apparent than on closer ‘Bread And Pickle’ – a slightly odd choice of single which sounds like a VW off-cut and manages to shoehorn in both a Shakespearean reference and the line “you held my hair back when I was vomiting”, all in little more than three-and-a-half minutes.
Earlier, ‘Dark Horse’ bursts away from the tape with urgency and grabs the attention immediately, while the second track ‘John Travolta (Knows How To Do It)’ sees the Pulp Fiction star follow Jeff Goldblum onto the prestigious “Hollywood stars to have been namechecked in a Tiny Birds song” list.
In all honesty, there’s probably nothing here to rival their early offerings ‘Seaside Town (In The Winter)’ and especially ‘Ariadne’, but it’s an enjoyable listen nevertheless and penultimate track ‘Penelope’, its title seemingly referencing the wife of Odysseus in Greek mythology, is probably the stand-out offering and comes somewhere close.
Words: Tom White