Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from our absolute favourites, 9 o’clock Nasty. Bird of Happiness is the latest single to hit our ears and features the vocals of Meg Cratty of the Margaret Hooligans.
What can we say about 9 o’clock Nasty? Well… they keep us on our toes. You just never know what to expect from this talented British band. Bending genres, breaking rules and consistently making us laugh with the odd unexpected lyric, instrument or witty press release, these guys have it all.
Their latest single, Bird Of Happiness led us down a whole new path. With hints of Britpop, a touch of punk, the occasional unique choice of timing in the guitar (let’s call that Slacker Rock!) and lyrics that make you think 60s psychedelia, this is a single that has huge commercial appeal.
Every time we hear the Nasties, they are more and more polished. Bird of Happiness starts with some fancy twinkly stuff… and moves on to a Britpop rhythm with gorgeous use of panning right from the get-go.
When the vocals come in, they are layered and smooth. Instantly making us grin with the line, “I was a bird of happiness, now I’m a chicken of despair”, 9 o’clock Nasty give this song an almost Beatles-esque feel.
The band make superb use of tambourine to accentuate different sections and the guitar fills between sections are to die for – a nicely polished and well-considered riff make this track one of their most widely appealing to date.
Everything about this track has a confident, “we know who we are” strut to it. “Everything was groovy” is a repeated vocal line throughout, and we agree… this really is a “groovy” track!
At just shy of 3 minutes, Bird of Happiness wraps everything up in perfect radio-ready and radio-friendly timing. Whilst some of their previous work may have had a smaller listenership (we previously described one of their tracks as, “Billy Idol, crossed with Ian Dury, singing lyrics by Derek and Clive with superb musicianship.”), Bird of Happiness hits the jackpot.
Ideas from our ears
There is not a lot happening below about 100Hz where the bass and kick drum would be, filling out the low end. It seems like there may be a hi-pass filter set a touch too high. this could be remedied with a fairly large boost around 60-70Hz to bring back the thump of the kick drum and some warmth from the bass. A couple of small cuts around 600Hz and 900Hz would reduce some slightly ‘honky’ tones. A small shelf boost set around 3kHz would increase the brightness and presence in the overall track too. Lastly, a light compressor/limiter with maybe 3dB of make-up gain would add a touch more thickness and volume. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
We just adore the vibe of this band. Every song, every step of the way, they are unique without forcing it, creative without overdoing it and talented without flaunting it. Exceptional.