The soundtrack to all the sad moments from every indie Netflix drama.
Italian singer-songwriter An Early Bird has a knack for making indie acoustic-driven pop-rock music with a certain vibe. Every song from his new album ‘Diviner’ I could play over almost any Netflix show and it would suit it perfectly. An Early Bird has nailed the genre squarely in the heart and he’s embraced the style with aplomb.
The acoustic guitar and the piano are the mainstays for ‘Diviner’ across its ten tracks. Readers will know that I enjoy the darker side of music and so An Early Bird appeals to me from a ‘let’s be sad and melancholy perspective. With his soft, hushed and light voice, he is able to float around those acoustic instruments and make simple but fluid riffs work around him. Add a strong acoustic guitar riff and soft fuzzy drums and background synths and you have the potential for indie gold.
There are tracks where this comes together fantastically. ‘Mulholland Drive’ is indie-pop perfection with its striding rhythms and catchy rustic hooks. ‘Fishes in the Ocean’ is a swaying power ballad washed out with distant guitars and majestic piano moments. ‘Prayers In A Temple’ is Netflix montage music personified. ‘Holding Onto Hope’ crosses over into easy listening/boy band ballad territory and is about as light and fluffy as the album gets.
Where the album doesn’t quite click for me is where An Early Bird turns to bluesy soulful ballads. ‘One Week’, ‘Go All Out’ and to a much lesser extent ‘Angela’ and ‘Under My Skin’ are all a little safe and familiar. When the production tweaks and hazy instrumental delivery aren’t around, An Early Bird runs the risk of blending into every other indie songwriter. The music is still well put together, it just doesn’t stand out. Part of this is that his voice is slightly lost in some of the audio mix.
When all the hooks and production clicks together, ‘Diviner’ is a great easy listen. Perfect for relaxed, reflective chilled moods, its rustic and homely sounds shine through. Hopefully, this lands at least one Netflix styled drama song placement as it feels like an album designed just for that! If you love that formula, this album is absolutely up your street. For the rest of us, we can dip in and out of some fine acoustic pop.
Recommended track: Mullholland Drive
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