Justin Wilding Stokes’ debut album, Birds Bread, uses an eclectic amalgamation of sounds to bring about euphoric joyful moods. Its idealistic and addictive happiness – often borderline mad – gives the listener an entrance to a feel-good world about as colourful and psychedelic as the Yellow Submarine film.
While the album flirts heavily with 1960s and 1970s British psychedelic pop rock, it still manages to be incredibly unique and contemporary – suiting the modern day hipster to the core.
Collaborator Robin Waters (of The Boat People and Machine Translations fame) helped to record the album with his knowledge of random and unusual sounds, solidifying its kooky nature. The album starts with a melody from the melodica and as it twists forward, the listener is treated to the sounds of other unexpected instruments, such as tin whistles, a kazoo, and a toy piano.
An album highlight comes in “I’ll Love You Until Monday Morning” is a deliciously catchy and upbeat pop song that uses a harmonious swirling guitar instrumental, while “Alopecia” with its absurdist lyric is incredibly charming and child-like. “I’m not Guilty of Love” is a little heavier in sound, though just as whimsical and mad as the rest of the album.
Despite this glowing recommendation, it remains an album that suits a specific, open-minded mood, otherwise its intentions and its innocence becomes lost.
Birds Bread is not at all contrived; its stories are as heartfelt and innocent as a child’s imagination – blowing a fresh breath of air onto the Australian music scene.
– Tara Emily Whitehead