Though soft-spoken and sweet, the mind behind the project Jealous of the Birds is Naomi Hamilton. A singer-songwriter from Belfast, she has been making her way around the European music scene and it starting to generate buzz in the U.S. market. Her work resembles the sensibilities and honesty of the Cranberries with some of the edge of artists like Julien Baker and Margaret Glaspy. We met right before her show at the legendary Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.
Her excitement felt tangible as she explained that she was stoked to play a proper show. Jealous of the Birds’ live set has transformed as it is now a four-piece band live, allowing listeners to get a whole new show from Hamilton. For new and old listeners alike, she is committed to putting on the best show possible. “I feel like with every show I go in and just try to be as much myself as possible. Really chill. Obviously, you want people to have a good time and enjoy themselves. I think I just kind of go with the flow and try to put on a good show.”
Hamilton is at an exciting point in her career and it has been a long time coming. She has been writing since a very young age and has since developed her songwriting skills to produce thoughtful and poetic work that is unique and exciting. Her heavily artistic background contributes to the simplicity and beauty of her songs. “I would say inspiration wise kind of from everything. I’m in to a lot of different things: poetry, prose, photography, painting as well. I try to incorporate a bunch of that into my writing. When I started writing it must have been when I was 12 or 13. I started writing poetry, but the writing part kind of came before the music. It wasn’t until I was 19 maybe 18 my first year of university that I started writing songs and it kind of became a part of me.”
She earned her degree in English and Creative Writing, very fitting for her current journey. These years of development and growth have culminated to the release of Wisdom Teeth this past February, her first release since signing a deal. While the EP has been out for some time, it has received it immense support from fans and rave reviews from critics. The songs on the EP each contain their own little story and flare, such as New York Has A Lump In Her Throat features versatile elements like spoken verses contradicting her lightly sung verses. While the track Blue Eyes has a more edgy, rock tinged edge filled with distorted guitar riffs. “With the response to it has been really cool. We’re definitely getting really good vibes from the people who like the songs. For me at least, it was cool getting that out because it was a real step up in my songwriting because the ‘Parma Violets’ album came out in like 2016, so I had some time to kind of really hone in on what I was doing and really focus on [Wisdom Teeth]. I’m proud of the songs.”
Her favorite track on the record is Kosiskelu for its dreaminess, but for listeners all she hopes for is that they pick up on the authenticity behind her work and the honesty of her journey. “Being your most authentic self and figuring things out. The first record came from a pretty naïve place. Just adolescence and stuff. Wisdom Teeth things are just becoming a little more concrete as you’re figuring stuff out.”
She is constantly writing or jotting ideas down for new songs. As we all wait patiently for her next release we’ll just have to continue cycling Parma Violets and Wisdom Teeth on repeat. Get lost in the voice behind Jealous of the Birds and let her dreamy vocals transport you to a new place.