Record Label: Self Released
Release Date: November 11, 2011
Yellowbirdd is the performing name of singer songwriter Liam McCormack. Hailing from Boston, MA, Missing is McCormack’s follow up to his debut album Hard Feelings and his first full band album. Now the question at hand is, is it any good?
Well, yes is the simple answer. Missing is basically ten tracks of mature, relationship based, indie-folk with pop flourishes. It starts off with “When You’re Away”. It’s a slow, gradual easing into the album, with sparse guitar, and the warm vocals of Liam McCormack. His voice is instantly attractive, and its tone, teamed with the pace of the track, draws the listener into the emotions of song. The repetition of the lyric “...it breaks my heart...” is the slightly melancholic metaphorical cherry on top.
It’s followed up by “Low Shoulder”, an upbeat, acoustic based indie-pop song. While the vocals are strong and it’s successfully catchy, it veers dangerously close to radio fodder and is scarily reminiscent of Train. Despite the very good opener, it’s among the first few tracks of Missing that Yellowbirddd are at their weakest. The third track “Photograph” is another stumble block. The lyrics are lovely, but it’s ultimately boring, and once again falls into radio pop territory.
Thankfully, the album picks up after that. “Mutual Friend”, “When January Comes, We’ll Go To France” and the title track “Missing” are among the best songs off the album. All three are firmly inside the brackets of indie folk, mostly acoustic, and are driven by sincere, emotional lyrics. The first of the trilogy is powered by great lyric writing, and in the latter two, talented lyricism is also evident, but the two tricks are made perfect by the female vocals, which contrast beautifully with McCormack’s voice.
“If You’re Single” isn’t exactly bad, but it isn’t exactly great either. It’s catchy, but doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album, and the lyrics are quite weak, focusing on his inability to commit, which makes the heartfelt lyrics about lost loves that the rest of the release is shrouded in, seem a little redundant. “Appear” is the total opposite. A song about waiting for someone he loves, it’s very attractive and highly emotional, another strong lyrical performance.
The album ends with “Bare Bones Love”, another acoustic track, which encapsulates the best tracks of the album, and leaves the listener wanting more.
Over the course of ten tracks, Yellowbirddd have released a mature, indie-folk album that certainly has a lot more positive aspects than negative. McCormack has a rich, attractive voice, and a great ability to pen a heartfelt folk song. Yellowbirdd’s only failure comes when they attempt to put out what comes across as a stab at radio-friendly pop, as their ability is worth far more than a cheap pop song. When they stick to folk, Yellowbirddd is at their best. Through a combination of frail acoustic guitar and lucid, heartfelt lyricism, Yellowbirddd have the ability to become indie folk's next big thing. Here’s looking forward to another release.