Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from one of our favourite alternative and sublimely quirky bands – I Am The Unicorn Head. Their latest single, Birds Aren’t Real, was released on August 11th, 2023, and we’re here to say that the band have done it again!
Capturing with their own unique sense of humour, Birds Aren’t Real is a not-so-subtle nod to the bizarre conspiracy theory that many subscribe to – birds are actually government-controlled drones.
Birds Aren’t Real is the first single from the band’s highly anticipated third album, Skeleton Stories. We’re always so impressed with I Am The Unicorn Head’s ability to breathe fresh life into the most peculiar of subjects (I fell in love with a space slug was a huge favourite of ours). Birds Aren’t Real takes on a folky and dreamy spaced-out psychedelic feel that harks back to 60s folk and singer-songwriter styles, and would sit perfectly alongside a playlist of Woodstock songs.
The layered vocals in the track give Birds Aren’t Real a very singalong feel and as the song ambles along, you’ll feel yourself swaying gently and nodding. There are plenty of singalong opportunities (lots of “woah woah” moments to join in with!) and the simple chord sequence keeps the song comfortable and easy to get into.
We like the use of gentle incidentals, and the sidestick in the intro section gives rise to a bigger, but yet still simple drum pattern as the song develops. There are some gentle rise and fall moments and a particular section that stands out is the fake fade-out ending that soars back into one last chorus of “woah’s” – and we just love the tweeting birds at the end of the track. Our only complaint is the whole thing was over too quickly – but that’s OK – that’s what the ‘replay’ button is for!
Ideas from our ears
A large boost around 60Hz could bring the low end in a lot more and increase the depth and warmth in the track. A careful cut around 196Hz would control a slight peak from the acoustic guitar too. A wider cut centred around 500Hz and a boost centred around 4kHz would balance out the mids a touch as well. A small shelf boost set around 10kHz would also make a difference. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
If you subscribe to the conspiracy theory that birds are just evil feathered flying things sent from the government to spy on you, you may take this track a little too seriously. If you love a touch of tongue-in-cheek humour and quirky folk songs, then this will see you through the day nicely!