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Jade Bird is scorching her memories in'Burn the Hard Drive'

by Isabel Williams

Jade Bird's latest track is a swooning, sultry and subtly groovy evocation of the desire to erase memories of heartbreak.

Jade Bird introduces a twist on the memory-erasing technology of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with her new track ‘Burn the Hard Drive’. When the UK-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter met her ex-fiance, she was just 19 at the time. As he began touring with her as part of her band, his prominent status in her life bled into its every fissure.

“When you’re in a relationship like that, when it’s good it’s so good,” Bird said in reference to the relationship. “You’ve got support at work; you’re on the road together: it’s this romantic ideal. And when it’s not good, it becomes a bit of a living hell.” The end of her relationship gathered momentum and crashed into reality in 2022.

Now, Bird’s latest release is her putting the last scraps of these turbulent memories to rest. The track takes a step away from Bird’s heavier, rock influenced earlier music that has become a stylistic signature of hers, instead producing something softer and sultrier.

There’s more twisting, mesmerizing riffs than the hard strums that have become her trademark. The combined registers of deep, thrumming bass, airy backing vocals and sparkling piano make for a swooning tune with a subtle sense of groove, reminiscent of the likes of Arlo Parks.

The track is masterfully produced by Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter Alex Crossan, known better as Mura Masa. The celebrated producer and Bird had started working together before the end of her breakup, writing and experimenting with ideas in Crossan’s home studio. When Bird first heard the track after recording it, it was something of a revelatory experience.

“I listened back to it with Alex and was like, ‘Oh my god, this was a premonition of ending my relationship’”. Mura Masa’s masterful production really makes Bird’s voice shine on this track. It’s sorrowful in tone but maintains its characteristically powerful alto resonance, rendered to a crisp, clear quality.

For the accompanying music video, Bird reunited with director Aries Moross, whom she had worked with previously on her debut album. Together, the two created a shifting mirror world full of blurred and fractured images.

The video opens with a short montage in which photos of Bird, scratched and faded, have been collaged together in a number of mismatched pastiches of reality. In this unreal space, clouds glitch in and out of the sky as Bird walks hand-in hand with an invisible man, the only indication of his existence being his shadow falling on the ground.

‘Burn the Hard Drive’ is an addictively rhythmic evocation of the destructive power of memories, and one that displays Jade Bird’s impressive stylistic range as a musical talent.

Photographer
A. Klass
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