Wallis Bird announces the release of new album, Hands, with lead single, ‘What’s Wrong With Changing?’ plus B-Side ‘Pretty Lies’, out 28th January 2022.
‘What’s Wrong With Changing?’ offers a jubilant first look into Wallis Bird’s forthcoming album Hands, which will be released on 27th May 2022.
Musically inspired by the rhythmic discipline of Janet Jackson circa her iconic ‘Control’, ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ and ‘janet.’ eras, ‘What’s Wrong With Changing?’ gives fans an early taste of the joyous and curious approach Wallis has taken to writing her seventh studio album. The song epitomises the Berlin-based, Meath native’s unapologetic style and demonstrates her well-respected and shamelessly unafraid temperament.
Thematically, ‘What’s Wrong With Changing?’ concerns major milestones affecting Wallis’s life and sees her deftly weave personal tales of change with stories of societal transformation: from living in different countries and getting to know other cultures to Ireland becoming the first country in the world to vote in favour of legalising same-sex marriage and the traditionally starkly Catholic country’s move towards the separation of Church and State.
‘What’s Wrong With Changing?’ is something of a sister song to ‘As The River Flows’ from Wallis’s 2019 album, Woman; a song that celebrated migration, yet sought to “stand in awe and solidarity with migrants and fight ignorant racism in people and political agendas”, as Wallis told Songwriting Magazine at the time (read here). Following on from that standpoint, ‘What’s Wrong With Changing?’ sees Wallis striving to “think more and understand others a little more; not to ‘other’ each other but to create the idea that we are all one.”
Wallis Bird says: “The song is about the milestones of my life: living in London, getting to know other cultures as a young person, to Ireland breaking free from State and Church and voting in gay marriage in such a stark Catholic country. In my short life there have been huge changes and social structures have been dissolved and I have said over and over: what is wrong with changing? There is nothing in this world that is not changing, so I think let’s move with the change.”
The single’s b-side, ‘Pretty Lies’, is like three songs in one and captures the range of emotions we have felt as people experiencing this global pandemic. “It documents the silence and the beauty of hearing the birds for miles and miles at the beginning of lockdown when there was no traffic and nobody was leaving their house. It moves from that into when things began reopening a little more. This quiet, uneasy safety at the start develops into a spiral of unending possibilities. The end of this song expresses all of the possibilities of where we’re going to go from here,” says Wallis.
Wallis is undoubtedly a ‘musician’s’ musician, citing concert attendees such as Brandi Carlisle, Paul Brady and 26-year-old musical prodigy Jacob Collier, the five-time Grammy Award winner who has called Pretty Lies “a banger!”.
Irish born and Berlin based, Wallis Bird has released six albums since 2007, for which she’s won two Meteor Awards (Ireland’s annual music prize which ran between 2001 – 2010 and has now been replaced by the Choice Music Prize) – mostly recently for Best Female Artist – and a prestigious 2017 German ‘Music Autoren Preis’ (Music Author Prize), not to mention two further nominations for the Choice Music Prize. In addition, she’s racked up over a thousand shows during the past decade, earning a reputation worldwide for her passionate, energetic and good-humoured concerts. Wallis has also previously found a champion in American artist Amanda Palmer, and the Irish Times once noted that Bird’s irrepressible trademark energy on stage could “kickstart an entire economy”.
‘What’s Wrong With Changing?’ propels us into Wallis’ seventh studio album to date, Hands – also known as ‘NINE AND A HALF SONGS FOR NINE AND A HALF FINGERS’ (in reference to a childhood accident that permanently damaged her left hand). The album is a turning of the spotlight onto herself, raising issues that are sometimes far harder to face. Confronting themes of trust, alcohol abuse, stagnation, self-censorship and self-improvement. Each of them, however, is delivered by a voice uncommonly blessed with joy, ingenuity and empathy.
The release of ‘What’s Wrong With Changing?’ comes with the support of “half song” and B-Side – ‘Pretty Lies’.
‘What’s Wrong With Changing? (& B-Side Pretty Lies)’ is available 28th January 2022.
Wallis Bird – ‘Hands’ – Track Listing
2. What’s Wrong With Changing?
3. I Lose Myself Completely
4. The Power Of A Word
6. No Pants Dance
8. I’ll Never Hide My Love Away
9. The Dive
9 ½. Pretty Lies