Mount Silver Records/Caroline International (label)
14 June 2019 (released)
09 July 2019
Wallis Bird returns with pointed pro-immigration single ‘As The River Flows’.
Whether the fleeing of Syrian people to European shores or Donald Trump’s controversial US Mexico border wall, immigration is one of today’s biggest and most divisive issues. While some believe in the right to free movement and a better life for all, others fear the manipulation of the system by economic migrants, into already overpopulated countries.
Whatever side of the argument, we’ve all heard the harrowing story of families on treacherous journeys across the globe, for even the slimmest chance of a permanent home. It’s in this climate that Bird releases her thought-provoking offering.
Serving as the leadoff for the Irish woman’s sixth studio album Woman, the single wears its heart on its sleeve. The songstress is ardently pro-migration and the track is packed full of passionate prose about “overcoming mystery”, crossing “To the land to the sky to the sea to safety”, “Looking for more than we were offered”, and babies tragically cut off from their families.
Bird fires at her opponents:
“Don’t turn your face away Don’t tell me borders are for jobs and civic order When I know you see it differently”.
The track not only seeks to showcase the shocking trials and tribulations of refugees, but also posits the idea that immigration is not only normal, but part of humanities nomadic existence.
The artist’s vocals carry a sense of urgency and a tinge of fury, in keeping with charged indignant lyrics. Melodically, the backing plays its part well too.
Gentle chimes open proceedings in tranquil fashion as Bird talks of rivers flowing like the natural roaming of people across the planet. As the song’s creator begins to speak out about the emotionally charged issues on her mind the drumbeat kicks in as if a person desperately running towards refuge.
The backing track works to convey the intense energy of the lyrics.
From Joni Mitchell to Bruce Springsteen musicians have had a long history of passionately addressing the big issues of the day and Bird continues in that tradition.
‘As The River Flows’ is a passionate, catchy argument of a song. Whether the listener agrees with the position or not, it’s still worth an airing.