Today, Irish born, Berlin based Wallis Bird is thrilled to share “What’s Wrong With Changing” and “Pretty Lies” from her upcoming album HANDS. Hands (Nine and a Half Songs for Nine and a Half Fingers) is due out on May 27.
“What’s Wrong With Changing” appropriates the rhythmic discipline of Janet Jackson’s Control, Rhythm Nation 1814 and janet and “Pretty Lies” – a standout on the album that showcases an intense euphoric conclusion powered by forty chunky chord progressions.
HANDS finds BIRD turning the spotlight onto herself, raising issues that are sometimes far harder to confront, only to emerge optimistic and whole. Among these are issues of trust, alcohol abuse, stagnation, self-censorship and self-improvement, some addressed through personal recollections of crucial moments accumulated over the last two years. Each, however, is delivered by a voice uncommonly blessed with joy, ingenuity and empathy.
The front cover of the new album features a black and white photograph of a hand. A cursory look might not reveal anything unusual, but it only takes a moment to recognize it’s no ordinary hand. In the shadows, there’s a stump where the little finger should be, and something seems off about the other digits too. Some will understand its significance: they’ll have seen it strumming an upside-down, right-handed guitar, picking in unorthodox style, forming unconventional chords. The hand, you see, is WALLIS BIRD’s, and it’s there because, having spent much of her life trying to exist despite its restrictions, she’s reached a point where she recognizes that, in many ways, it’s always been vital to her lived reality. With this has come a realization of “who I am, what I am, and what I don’t want.” HANDS documents her subsequent process of change, and its consequences, with typically distinctive style, making it – hands down, naturally – one of the most honest albums you’ll hear at a time when honesty is at a premium.
“HANDS for me is a symbol of humanity, connection and time,” BIRD elaborates. “Humanity because, as babies, a first sign of our knowledge of existence is through our connection when we grip another human’s finger. If we don’t have hands, are we lesser humans? No. Connection, because hands represent tactility and expression, a physical language that links our imagination and our reality with each other’s. Finally, time, because some of the first examples of civilizations were hand paintings on cave walls, some of those hands missing fingers, celebrating their story of existence.”
HANDS‘ themes, though, are obviously personal. “At 18 months old I fell under a lawnmower and cut all my fingers off,” BIRD states simply. “Four were reconnected. One was lost. This led me to relearn how to hold things, and, when the time came, to play the guitar differently. As a toddler, I remember seeing those cave pictures and being fascinated. What happened? How painful was that? This shaped me: I wanted to draw my heart like that, to celebrate time, scars, stories and humanity on a wall where others could too.”
HANDS (NINE AND A HALF SONGS FOR NINE AND A HALF FINGERS)
RELEASE DATE: MAY 27, 2022
What’s Wrong With Changing
I Lose Myself Completely
The Power Of A Word
No Pants Dance
I’ll Never Hide My Love Away