Back in 2016, Irish singer-songwriter Naomi Hamilton — a.k.a. Jealous of the Birds— was one of NPR Music’s favourite SXSW discoveries. Her song “Goji Berry Sunset” demonstrated a remarkable gift for converting spare and common ingredients (voice, acoustic guitar, a bit of whistling) into a sound that’s dense, gently hypnotic and utterly her own.
That song, from her debut album Parma Violets, helped Jealous of the Birds land a major-label deal, so Hamilton appears to be in for a big summer. On July 13, she returns with a new EP, The Moths of What I Want Will Eat Me in My Sleep, and it’s headlined by “Plastic Skeletons.” The single takes the singer’s gift for evocative, concisely crafted, seemingly free-associated wordcraft and sets it against a swirling and forceful psych-rock arrangement.
“‘Plastic Skeletons’ was written once I got back from SXSW in 2016,” Hamilton writes via email. “That was my first trip to America, and I brought a journal and wrote a bunch of stuff in it. When I got home, I went through it and wrote that song in full. It’s a collection of little words and images that I picked up.”