Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and the inevitable legions of other airbrushed manufactured pop stars continually pump the music industry full of sanitized hot air that leaves a rift between the listener’s reality and their superficial image. The only veritable counterbalance to these unattainable expectations and departure from reality comes in the unabashed and unapologetic music of groups like that of Birdcloud, who have absolutely no reservations in telling you how it really is.
A female folk duo from Tennessee, Birdcloud initially deceives with their seemingly innocent looks and acoustic guitars, but then they open their mouths. To say Birdcloud’s lyrics are provocative is like calling followers of ISIS a bit religious. Their songs range from describing their vaginal hygiene, hating cops, loving ethnic men, and expounding on their preferred methods of intoxication. So it was an exclusive crowd of Austin’s finest that gathered Friday night to watch the comedic country crooners disseminate their warped version of folk.
Remarkably, the opening band was a serious but delightful local all-female dreamgaze band called Moving Panoramas. They emitted a beautiful and dreamy soundscape that lulled the audience into a shoegaze trance, only to be shook awake by the bawdy prose of Birdcloud that followed.
Jasmin and Makenzi of Birdcloud have made a name for themselves through their impertinent lyrics on Youtube videos such as “Saving Myself for Jesus”, “I Like Black Guys”, and “Fuck You Cop”. The audience seemed to be expecting a couple of wanton women singing foul-mouthed hilarity, and that’s exactly what they got.
Both members of Birdcloud were visibly and vocally drinking during the opening act, and by the time they got onstage they were ready to unleash their brash and brazen alcohol-fueled acoustic stylings. Facing each other while they sang, it is easy to see why songs like “Ice Balls”, “Snail Trail”, and “Damn Dumb” can have you simultaneously keeping time with your foot while you are keeled over laughing at the conviction on the girl’s faces as they sing these disturbed lyrics.
Between songs, the girls would down a cocktail together, sipping on two straws as they intently imbibed before launching into another one of their songs that nearly every audience member could sing along too. The highlight of the night came in one of their songs off of their newest album Tetnis called “Vodkasodaburg”, which recalls a hellish visit to Williamsburg, Brooklyn where every bartender hates them.
While you it’s easy to say that Birdcloud is just a gimmick and that they’re doing dick and fart jokes over acoustic strums, their curious dynamic and innate appeal is a bit more profound than just that. These Tennessee girls assume the stage in supreme confidence and are comfortable with their sexuality as well as exposing their darkest and grossest secrets in a candid and entertaining way. They buck the prissy material girl stereotypes prevalent across our media today and own their femdom and their inherent faults in a way that is simultaneously sexy, hilarious, and intriguing. Birdcloud seems to have as many haters and detractors as they do supporters, but that is just fine with them, as they continue to make waves stirring up the unconventional and most importantly, having a good time doing it.