It’s clear that some artists like to look at music as a rush to get as many songs out as possible in order to remain in the public eye, but others have a much more steady, patient approach. While this can be risky due to the short attention spans of listeners in the new digital age of music or the fear of losing whatever momentum an artist might have going for them, producer duo Bird Language wasn’t worried in the slightest.
The case in point comes when looking at their brand-new project Insider Art that took right around four years to perfect and bring to life. Despite this extensive time span, the project boasts 17 songs and a runtime of only about 21 minutes long. While this might seem like it’s way too short for such a long wait, the duo packs a punch with every single record, providing a sneak preview of all the different experimental sounds that they have become famous for bringing to life. Considering there are so many songs yet such a short runtime, I’m going to touch on the highlights that really stuck out to me and let you dive into the sonic world that the production tag team brings to life for yourself.
One of my early favorites was the second song called “Outside”, featuring rapper Ra’Shaun who spits some ruthless, insistent, attitude-fueled bars over a momentous, alluding beat that includes some mischievous horns of some sort and simplistic yet hard-hitting percussion. The next track “Flyswatter” changes things up completely while it includes a groovy, jazzy bassline that is along similar lines to the insane sounds that Thundercat has been known to bring to life. Although this cut is less than 45 seconds, it divides the project up as much as it gives another peek into a wildly different style that the duo not only creates but has perfected.
The following record “Whips Painted Black” gives a very tranquil, calming style to the project. Although it contains no percussive elements or drums, the emotive instrumental is perfect for their second guest feature Max Wonders, who goes to town spitting some calm, unhurried lines that are as persevering as they are persistent. Throughout his stanzas, a deeper, pitched-down layer of vocals is included, providing depth and complexity to his already enthralling bars.
“Couching”, a song that comes up a few slots later, is a short instrumental that includes a powerful drumline elevated by commanding guitar chords that give an Indie feel to the project before another couple of songs pass and we arrive at “Fat Jake Them Song”. This cut includes some mystifying percussion as well as strong piano chords that take us out of this world to another universe in a style that sounds as R&B influenced as it does intergalactic.
“Scene Status” comes up quickly, including a piano that sounds close to something you’d hear for a barbershop quartette combining with a deep, pleasing bassline that almost combats the piano as much as it complements it. Jazz Ingram, the featured artist on this song, lives up to his name, providing some off-kilter lyricism that comes through strong, buttery, and smooth, working effortlessly with the production.
Later on, we arrive at the project’s title track “Insider Art”, which provides us with a lighthearted, airy organ or synth of some sort that is brought to new levels with the crisp, minimalistic, almost gritty drums that provide an unhurried tempo to the record. Conner Youngblood, the final feature on this project, gifts us with peaceful, angelic notes that are sung in such a serene fashion that works seamlessly with the soothing instrumental.
The final song I wanted to highlight comes up next, called “Art is Never Finished Only Abandoned (Rain)”. On this track, there is ambient noise that masks the poignant guitar that is being played in the background. Tender vocals begin to take shape, coming through granularly as if you’re listening to a radio with a bad connection, but this style pairs so well with the abstract title of the track itself.
While it’s almost crazy that it took so long to make such a concise project come to life, I understand exactly why after listening all the way through. I know I might’ve only touched on about half of the songs on this effort but believe me when I say that magic is truly made when you listen to the entire project all the way through. Not only do they dabble in countless different genres and styles, but they do so in such a fluent, unbroken way that works perfectly. Not only do we get a taste of all their different skills and talents, but their ear for different sounds might just be unmatched by any other production duo in the world. I certainly hope we don’t have to wait another 4 years to get another project from this group, but even if we do, you can bet that I’ll be constantly revisiting this project time and time again for the foreseeable future. I highly suggest you get in tune with Bird Language and their brand-new project Insider Art because it’s some of the most uncharacteristically beautiful music you’ll hear all day.