Birch, “Human”

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Freeing, beautiful.

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Meredith Schneider | October 24, 2016

Birch – the musical project of Michelle Birsky and Mat Towles – has been hard at work on their forthcoming EP Not Human. As if to instigate more discussion around the name of the EP, we’ve got the exclusive premiere of their stand-alone track and precursor to the EP – “Human” – right here.

Heavy synth, entrancing percussion. Michelle’s ethereal voice comes in, high pitched and creating an ambiance of serenity across the sound space, despite lines like “just like the killer / he’s got to pass a thousand people before he picks one / to stuff into the basement floor.” (Yup. It gets intense.) The narrative is incredibly intricate, but there are aspects of it that everyone can relate to (i.e. “but you kept your head in the clouds / with your eyes to the ground”).

“‘Human’ is a song about the ways in which we are all one, though in such politically and socially tumultuous times it can be impossible to recognize,” elaborates Michelle. “I wrote the song last year – it began as I was walking around my neighborhood in Brooklyn thinking about how strange it is that, in such a populated city, we pass hundreds of other humans per day without acknowledging their existence. I was struck with the realization that we all walk the same streets, we all breathe the same air, we all want and strive, we’re all made up of molecules: we are all one. ‘Human’ is a moment of clarity in a chaotic world.”

This piece is a work of clarity, so mission accomplished. When the instrumentals build up for the earth-shattering chorus, it truly elaborates the freeing sensation we felt initially inside the words and enveloping percussion.

“Human” was recorded by Michelle Birsky (vocals/keys), Mat Towles (bass), Emma Munger (guitar), and Kevin Urvalek (drums).

Not Human is expected to be released in 2017. Keep up with Birch here.

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