By: Lu Makoboka
With the summer season just around the corner here in Cape Town, The World of Birds couldn’t have picked a better time to release ‘Open Up’. The continuous sound of waves crashing and the seagull’s glee creates this tropical sensation that would inspire you to toss your blanket aside and start searching for your swimsuit.
Before I go on, The World of Birds is a three-piece band based in Cape Town who actually changed their name from ‘Nic Preen & the World of Birds’. Some know the frontman as ‘Booklub’ (a bedroom dream pop project), although many know him as the lead vocalist of the now dissolved ‘Al Baire’ – a local indie band that amassed quite an impressive following. Nic Preen’s latest project has been active for less than a year and the band have already toured parts of Europe and have been performing quite often in the city.
Yes, instrumentally their latest track is joyous, upbeat and optimistic. However, by just listening to the lyrics, we find it is the song’s juvenile and playful approach to the subject matter of love that makes for such a great four minutes of fun. I can’t even decide what is easier to catch, the chorus to ‘Open Up’ or feelings for those hipster girls that roam town. It’s clear that love is ridiculously simplified in this song; “if you open up, I’ll open up, we’ll open up, we’ll be in love”. The context also becomes relevant when I raise such a point as it is also clear that this is the kind of song that would be great for radio and would be a real crowd pleaser for the dance floor. Most times, simplicity rules when it comes to a great dance floor hit. I must admit that I made up that figure but you get the idea.
If you’re not out and you find yourself relaxing while listening to this, the good news is that with each time you hit that ‘play’ button there is a good chance of hearing a new sound. ‘Open Up’ is groovy enough to make you want to dance yet instrumentally captivating enough to introduce you to, well, a colourful world of sound. The tropical feeling I spoke about earlier is really brought out by the various percussive textures embedded throughout the track. Additionally, a delightful organ takes centre stage every couple of seconds and melodically blends in so well with the somewhat aggressive guitar just after 1:13. As we reach the final stages, the exhibition of fine musical flair is felt by the marriage of incredible guitar solos and stacked harmonies, without the finale feeling clustered.
With this sort of craftsmanship, it’s no surprise it landed at the number one spot in Mongolia and Israel.