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Jealous Of The Birds Gets Ready For A Breakthrough

Jealous of the Birds.
Courtesy of the artist
Jealous of the Birds.

Back in 2016, Irish singer-songwriter Naomi Hamilton — a.k.a. Jealous of the Birds — was one of NPR Music's favorite SXSW discoveries. Her song "Goji Berry Sunset" demonstrated a remarkable gift for converting spare and common ingredients (voice, acoustic guitar, a bit of whistling) into a sound that's dense, gently hypnotic and utterly her own.

That song, from her debut album Parma Violets, helped Jealous of the Birds land a major-label deal, so Hamilton appears to be in for a big summer. On July 13, she returns with a new EP, The Moths of What I Want Will Eat Me in My Sleep, and it's headlined by "Plastic Skeletons." The single takes the singer's gift for evocative, concisely crafted, seemingly free-associated wordcraft and sets it against a swirling and forceful psych-rock arrangement.

"'Plastic Skeletons' was written once I got back from SXSW in 2016," Hamilton writes via email. "That was my first trip to America, and I brought a journal and wrote a bunch of stuff in it. When I got home, I went through it and wrote that song in full. It's a collection of little words and images that I picked up."

The Moths of What I Want Will Eat Me in My Sleep comes out July 13 via Canvasback/Atlantic.

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)