Hartford (US) based Michael Suddes, has just released his debut single, I’m A Bird, and we here at the Send Me Your Ears studio would like to know where this talented musician has been hiding until now! This is one of the most impressive debut singles we’ve heard this year.
I’m A Bird is “written as an introspective song about wrestling with the grip one has on their own mind and how that keeps us safe, but clips our wings. Based on the children’s book ‘Are You My Mother’ this is a fascinating dive into the mind of this superb new artist. We loved the line “My mosquito mind taking a little life from me”.
When the song starts, it feels like a folk song. With a gloriously warm and charming voice, Suddes wins you over instantly.
A lovely little brass line comes in and the drums come in and out for a while; used more as an instrument than an accompaniment. This is a gentle song that just washes over you. At some points some vocal harmonies come in and embellish the vocals. Lead vocals from Suddes reminded us of many different quality artists, the main ones being Jack Johnson, Mike Scott, Paulo Nutini and more than any of the others, Jamie Cullum.
As the song progresses it takes a slightly more jazzy turn. This is far more than “just a folk song”. It is absolutely gripping. Throughout the song, the instrumentation is constantly changing and developing. Whether a shaker is added or a change up of instruments, there is never a dull moment and every time you listen, you will hear something different.
When the guitar solo comes in, our jaws hit the floor. This was a solo that sounded like the guitar was being sung rather than played. It felt like a solo that had been waiting patiently in the wings before being allowed to steal the show.
We loved the jazzy chord sequence during the choruses and it was the stylings of the vocals during these sections that helped us draw the Jamie Cullum comparisons.
We loved the little Beatles-like nod at around 3 minutes 40 (“But if I wake up tomorrow”) that leads into a wonderful scatted vocal section and, just as we’d picked up our jaws from the guitar solo, the trumpet takes over and is just world class.
From a production perspective, we felt that a cut around 150-200Hz would reduce some slightly muddy tones and clear up the low end nicely. Another cut around 500Hz would help control some boxy / honky tones. A wide boost boost across the high mids and highs centred around 7-8kHz would add to the brightness and presence in the track but be careful not to allow that lovely bright snare to become too harsh around 4kHz. . To our ears, a light compressor / limiter with around 3dB of make up gain would add to the overall warmth in the track as well as adding some volume and bringing the song more in line with other similar commercial releases.
If you’re a fan of slightly jazzy folk with some world class soloing then look no further than Michael Suddes debut single, I’m A Bird. We simply have to hear more from this fresh new talent!