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by Stephanie Benson

July 23, 2014

Celebrity Playlist: Birdy

by Stephanie Benson  |  July 23, 2014

English singer-songwriter Birdy first came across our radar with her soft, delicate, piano-powered rendering of Bon Iver's melancholic beauty "Skinny Love." Her breathtaking delivery suggested the emotional confidence of a veteran musician, yet the then 14-year-old (!) was just beginning her musical journey. Since, she's become a master cover artist, tackling songs from artists as disparate as James Taylor, The Postal Service, and The xx on her self-titled 2011 debut album. Most recently, she's revealed her songwriter side on Fire Within. Our rock editor, Justin Farrar, sums up the album:

Birdy's music possesses the ability to sound both intimate and bigger than life. A rather unusual quality, it's easily discernible when you contrast her rendition of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love," the lead track on the American version of Fire Within, to the next song, "Wings." Where the former is emotionally naked and threadbare, the latter is a soaring torch song, rich and outgoing. Another stand-out feature is Birdy's compositional versatility; in the span of a single album she can move from noir-ish indie-folk ("Words as Weapons") to pure adult contemporary ("No Angel").

To coincide with the release, we've chosen Birdy as our Ones to Watch artist this month. In return, she's given us both an exclusive remix of "Skinny Love" and a handmade playlist of songs she listens to while on the road. It's an awesome mix that showcases especially eclectic and timeless songwriting, from classics by Jeff Buckley and Fleetwood Mac to newer gems from Lana Del Rey and Alt-J. Enjoy!

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