There’s something to be said for birds as metaphor. Whether Cohen’s bird on the wire or McCartney’s blackbird singing in the dead of night (Furtado thought she actually was a bird…) they symbolise freedom so perfectly they’ve long inspired torch songs. Holly Rees, bright-eyed songwriter from the North East, adds her take with the chirpy ‘Magpie’.
A homesick ballad about being stuck in the rut of everyday life, and the compromises made along the way. Holly Rees envies the magpie’s who keep her awake at night with their chirping. They at least can fly away when they want to. The metaphor of moving town to get a new guitar is familiar to anyone who has left home to realise a dream.
‘Magpie’ is a sweet acoustic ballad, which relies entirely on a gentle acoustic groove and Holly’s passionate vox. Her emotive but hushed and even-keeled delivery saves the tune from melodrama, and moors it in the real and relatable central message: the struggle for art. It is one we know, and a beautiful tune too.
A real talent, and certainly one to watch.
Follow Holly Rees here.