From KCRW DJ Chris Douridas:
I got an email the other day from an old friend, Michael Thomas. I first came to know Michael for being Peter Gabriel’s lawyer and ad hoc manager. He later introduced me to the work of Joseph Arthur, Peter’s first American singer/songwriter signing for his world music oriented record label, Real World Records.
But I came to know Michael best as the manager for Propellerheads, a brash English big beat duo that I signed to Dreamworks Records during my stint there as an A&R executive in the late 90s. Since then, Michael hasn’t reached out to share with me anything new he’s been excited about….until now.
You can understand why after all these years I would take note when I see an email from him with the subject heading: Are you still at this email address?
The email told me about a young singer named Birdy that he thought I should be aware of.
I downloaded the link and noticed one of the song titles was “1901“. I was immediately curious, wondering if this might be a cover of the Phoenix song. It was. And a very inventive cover at that. I wrote Michael back informing him that this was likely to get a lot of love on KCRW.
Stream Birdy’s “1901”
I played the song on air during my next radio show, which happened to be part of our live broadcast from Amoeba.
It’s funny — once you put a song on the air, you can feel right away if it’s working, even before any feedback rolls in. You can actually feel it rolling out across the airwaves, making a connection with the audience. Anyone who’s been in broadcasting knows what I mean by that. So I wasn’t surprised when several people came up to the booth asking about the song and who was covering it. I would have been more surprised if no one had said anything.
When a song like this gets that kind of reaction, our first instinct is to share it with our fellow DJs. So when I came down to the station the other morning, I went straight into the studio and gave the song to Jason Bentley, knowing he’d want it for Morning Becomes Eclectic.
He checked it out, and immediately cued it up. A few minutes later it was on the air again, working it’s magic for the weekday audience. A couple of co-workers came into the studio asking about the song, while it was on the air.
Her self-titled debut album also features covers of songs by the xx, The Naked and Famous, Bon Iver, and Fleet Foxes, among others. There is one original song. It’s odd for a debut release to have only one original …until you learn that she is only 15 years old!
— Chris Douridas