Hannaford – [Bird Language] ft. [Sebastian Ade]

When it comes to Hip-Hop music, I think unless you’ve got a name like Murda Beats or Metro Boomin, for instance, producers go grossly unappreciated which is a shame considering they’re the ones forming the much-needed foundation for artists to display their talents and without a good instrumental, that artist will typically go unnoticed. As for Brooklyn-based production duo Bird Language, they take their job seriously while also having fun, coming onto the scene without of the box sounds that merge all sorts of music genres, not allowing for their artistry to be boxed in or confined. While I wasn’t aware of them until recently, my ignorance is unforgivable considering they not only executive produced Trapo’s magnificent 2016 album Shade Trees, but they’ve also worked with other acts I’ve long been familiar with such as Chicago’s very own Alex Wiley.

As they make a push to get their name out there in the midst of the rollout of their debut project Insider Art in October, they dropped off a brand-new single entitled “Hannaford” a few weeks back, now breathing new life into it with a Devan Marz-shot music video. As the song begins, the production tag team provides some deep, ambient synths at the forefront that give a wispy yet hopeful base prior to calm, tranquil snare drums slowly but surely entering into the picture. This paves the perfect path for singer Sabastian Ade to demonstrate his incredibly captivating vocals in an equally peaceful, masterful fashion. His first couple of lines are quiet and passive with a filter over his voice that leads us perfectly into his verse where he becomes a bit more confident and powerful.

His words are delivered in segments, stretching out the notes at the end of each line following a few quicker, melodious lyrics. During certain portions, multiple layers are utilized, showing off a higher-pitched, background layer that complements the main tenor vocals that are as smooth as they are prevailing. Sebastian’s sonic range is remarkable as he heightens and lowers the intonation within his delivery effortlessly, and the passion he’s putting into each and every word is extraordinary, despite the fact that he never really belts out any notes fully. Although this song comes and goes in the blink of an eye, not lasting for more than two minutes, Bird Language makes sure they provide an unbelievable instrumental to truly bring out all of Sebastian’s amazing aptitudes in the short span of time.

As far as the music video is concerned, simple yet artistic settings are used throughout. It opens on a close-up of Sebastian’s face upside down in a black and white filter as the camera spins, turning him right side upright as he gets into singing. The blank stare on Sebastian’s face hides the fact that he’s about to sing some of the most emotive lyrics you’ll hear all day, but this opens your eyes, even more, when he does actually begin. As he croons, the camera is split horizontally, dividing his lower and upper halves right above his mouth, sending them spinning in opposite directions. This divide is a common theme throughout, sometimes showing him with a magnifying glass over his mouth as if to further stress the meaningful lyrics he’s reciting.

The abstract themes throughout such as the utilization of flowers, bubbles, face paint, and other objects leave room for subjectivity and mental exploration, and although these things might be ambiguous, it allows the viewer to come away from the video with their own conclusions and meanings. The colorless aesthetic comes to an end about three-quarters of the way through, introducing a side-by-side shot of a dancing woman in front of an orange backdrop. To end the video, Sebastian is shown in the same orange-filled setting, looking into a mirror with face paint under his eye, observing the reflection intensely as the camera pans in close, leading us out of the visual.

While the video might have so many meanings that I’m missing, it is so abstract that it leaves room for individualistic interpretation and couples with the track seamlessly. Sebastian’s vocals are pure and heartfelt, and although the themes he’s singing about are equally as ambiguous, this allows for so many different meanings to be taken away and connects with a wide variety of listeners on a deeper level than just the surface. I’m definitely looking forward to the release of Insider Art in the middle of October because although it might include 17 songs, it only spans about 21 minutes, allowing for the production team to share their talents and sounds with the world by giving a sample platter of all of their skills while sending listeners off wanting so much more in the future. It’s safe to say the Bird Language is on the rise after working hard for so many years, so familiarize yourself with the talented producers as soon as you possibly can. Once you start with “Hannaford”, you’re going to be craving more, so get in tune with the beautiful new single as soon as you get the chance.