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Hands is an honest and vulnerable spiritual awakening from Wallis Bird


Release date: 27 May 2022
Wallis bird hands art
31 May 2022, 20:00 Written by Hannah Broughton
The title and album art of Wallis Bird’s seventh album has an unusual personal origin that is not immediately obvious.

When Bird was just 18 months old she was involved in a horrific accident involving a lawnmower, which led to the loss of all her fingers on one hand - “Four were reconnected. One was lost. This led me to relearn how to hold things, and, when the time came, to play the guitar differently” she explains. Hands is a record built in reference to the singer's acceptance of herself, and the result is uniquely raw.

“The moon is saying right now, she says I have to start living” Bird urges on the opening track, aptly named “Go”. A feeling that is often echoed amongst many of us - the nagging voice in our head that tells us we need to do that thing we’ve always wanted to do. The theme of spirituality is a prominent one on Hands, and not surprising considering that this is a record about self-acceptance. “What’s Wrong With Changing” has an incredibly catchy and pronounced drum beat, and with tracks like this it’s easy to understand why Bird is often referred to as a folk singer, but the album's defining musical genre is a lot more blurred overall. The upbeat, 80’s synth track “I Lose Myself Completely” addresses Bird's experience with alcohol abuse (leading her to quit drinking entirely), while the wonderfully laid-back “Aquarius” brings forth the spiritual undertones once more.

There is a simplicity to this record that makes it an easy listening experience, and you get the sense that these songs come from a place of self-love and warmth. The aforementioned rawness of the album is brought to the surface on the slow and delicate “I’ll Never Hide My Love Away”, a stripped-back ode to the self with little more than an acoustic guitar accompanying Bird's voice for the majority of the song. When it ends you can hear the singer remark “Yeh why not”, possibly showing indifference towards choosing the perfect take of a song after many, many takes?

Hands is an honest portrayal of vulnerability with bursts of great songwriting, even if at times it can feel slightly fatigued. Wallis Bird’s Irish heritage shines through in several of the songs, including a short but sublime fiddle instrumental at the end of “I’ll Never Hide My Love Away”. This is a spiritual and modernized folk inspired album with a big heart, that will no doubt capture others.

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