Interview: Jade Bird Talks Upcoming New Album, Getting ‘Rowdy’ With American Crowds
Jade Bird can do an impeccable American accent, and with good reason: The British singer-songwriter has spent plenty of time in the States recently, including playing her first American festival, Stagecoach 2018. However, although she grew up listening to American music, Bird tells The Boot none of this means she's trying to move away from her British roots.
"It's not like I'm intentionally saying, 'Oh, anyhow, now I'm going to make American music,'" the singer explains. "I just always really loved music that was coincidentally from the States."
"That was the first time I'd ever seen somebody who reminded me of me playing the guitar, first off," Bird says. "I love the band for that. The chemistry between them just felt so true and not put on, and to me, that is so important.
"It was the same thing [the first time I heard] Chris Stapleton. I was like, 'Oh my goodness, what is this bloke?!'" she adds with a laugh.
In terms of her sense of authenticity and relating her personal experiences to the experiences of her listeners through music, Bird is very much a songwriter's songwriter, and the artists she tends to gravitate towards share that classic approach to their work. In her own music, she focuses on writing lyrics that can mean something to anyone.
"A good song always has to do with the person representing it -- how they're feeling in that moment -- but I think my songs don't need to be exclusive in terms of gender or race or that kind of thing," she says. "That's how, I hope, the music ends up being totally inclusive of everyone."
Bird plans to bring that sense of inclusivity into her upcoming full-length project. It doesn't have a name yet, but the singer says fans won't have to wait too long to listen to it: "I think the album is going to be coming out sooner than even I expect," she admits.
Bird released the first taste of that project, "Lottery," in January, and performed the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in April. The song follows her 2017 EP, Something American, and reflects a different side of Bird's abilities as a songwriter and performer ... "because I think it's important that I get to show all sides of me, you know?" she explains.
"As a songwriter, I've got a lot of facets, so to speak," Bird adds. "When you come to a live show, you get a better sense of that, because you'll see me performing a piano ballad and some acoustic songs and some not acoustic songs, all in the same set. I think that an album is going to be a good chance for me to show my catalog."
Until more details about her upcoming album arrive, Bird's American fans can get to know her during her string of U.S. tour dates -- just make sure to get loud during her shows! The singer says that she finds that audiences in America are often more vocal than at her UK shows, and she loves it.
"Audiences in the U.S. can sometimes be a lot less refined," she says with a laugh. "If they like something, they tend to express it more loudly. The audiences are a little bit more rowdy, so to speak -- especially in the South. They'll yell, 'Woooo! Yeah!' That's always a good laugh."