Seth Glier returns with his fifth full length album, “Birds”, which finds the young 28 year old singer/songwriter refining his sound even further and building upon the trademarks he’s built up over the years. The content on “Birds” is unique in its own right, built far more off of the current political and cultural atmosphere both in the U.S and around the world than any of Glier’s past material. Despite never shying away from subjects like these in the past, Glier takes these issues far more to the forefront on “Birds", particularly in songs like the anti-fracking anthem “Water On Fire", and "Justice For All”. “Justice For All" follows in the vein of past tracks like “The Stars & Glitter” and showcases Glier’s ability to not only write in such a heavily rooted southern folk style, but also the power consistently contained in each of his pieces lyrically. Glier’s rendition and arrangement of 60’s hit “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield is spot on, and feels completely at home amidst the rest of the tracks. Covers are always a gamble to release on an album, but Glier performs “For What It’s Worth” with such passion and sincerity, you’d believe it was his own creation.
But the true gems of “Birds”, for me, lie within two tracks : ”Like I Do” is everything an angst driven piano ballad should be. Biting lyrics like "I want you to feel / What it’s like to lose / I want you to hurt like I do” are sung with both an intensity and a certain semi-emotional detachment that expertly echo a man at the end of his rope, with nothing more to plea for than the shared feeling of anguish. Glier excels most when delivering these moodier ballads, and “Like I Do” is no exception.
“Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” is an expertly written mid-tempo ode to the recent loss of Glier’s brother. The layered vocals and harmonies are intricate and stunning, all while preserving the intimacy that the subject matter deserves, and its beautiful string laden bridge would not feel out of place on The Beatles’ masterpiece “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. With its equally strong chorus, “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” truly encompasses everything about Seth’s music i’ve grown to know and love over the years.
Seth Glier’s writing skills continue to grow at an alarming rate, and it’s astonishing to think about how how much we still have to look forward to from him in the upcoming years. It’s going to be very hard for any album to top 2013’s “Things I Should Let You Know” for me, but “Birds” is a brilliant addition to the catalogue of truly one today's finest songwriters.