Amateur Ornithologist – “Building the Bird”

This is a great Pop extravaganza album filled with lots of Psychedelic overtones. “Building The Bird” is an album about coming to terms with who you are, delivered with a beautiful cosmic landscape and a retro-feel.


What’s going on, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome back. It’s your boy, MadZen, and today we will go on a journey through the fantastic musical mind of this UK artist. Brought to us by North East artist Daniel Clifford, this new album explores the depths of the human psyche as it takes us by the hand and pulls us into a semi-chaotic swirl of psychedelic and quirky melodies.

In case you don’t remember, Amateur Ornithologist is the musical child of Daniel Clifford, a neurodivergent musician recently diagnosed with autism and ADHD. After a whole year of releases including Hermit Phase,  I Told A Lie, A Better Person and Sunscreen, the artist is now releasing his second album of melodic, harmony-filled, new wave pop.

“Building the Bird is an album about coming to terms with who you are. I wrote it while coming to realise I have autism and ADHD, and that’s where a lot of the lyrics come from. But the music is just as much an expression of who I am – weird and hyperactive one minute, soft and gentle the next. It’s an album I’m proud of and how others will find something to relate to in it.” Daniel J Clifford

Building The Bird“, as mentioned above, is about Clifford coming to terms with his diagnostic. Living his life very different from his friends and family, Clifford aims to express himself articulately through music and create moments of understanding for people like him. In this album he made use of multi-layered Beach Boys-style harmonies, as well as quirky guitar lines, and eclectic atmospheres.

Overall, the album is very mellow and inviting. You will hear compositions that seem inspired by classic bands, specifically The Beatles. Everything feels glued as a whole, with each unique track telling a story of its own. This is no easy feat, but Amateur Ornithologist achieved to create a unified album with a background that feels both familiar and unique.

Some of my favorite tracks are “I Told A Lie”, “Weird Walking”, “Sunscreen”, “Ecclesia”, and closing track “The Willows”. Clifford has a unique way of portraying his thoughts and feelings, which span from weird and hyperactive, to calm and soothing. There are even some Opera elements in some of them, with rising vocal crescendos and even some violin / string lines.

Building the Bird finds Daniel in reflective mood, looking at his experiences in a new light while exploring an autism diagnosis. Two laidback tracks, A Better Person and Slip Away, focus on his relationships with his parents, while the opening stomper Promises and minimal synthpop closer The Willows bookend the album with tracks looking at different sides of romance – starting with a wailing tale of divorce and ending on an intimate portrait of love. Singles Hermit Phase and I Told A Lie examine how Daniel’s reactions to everyday life differ greatly from his friends and peers.

To talk about the instrumentation, Clifford made use of his well-known retro-vibe guitars, swinging drums, solid bass and even some digital synths. All of this set of melodies, rhythms, and tones, create a fascinating experience where the ear keeps discovering subtleties here, and hidden textures there. You will most definitely find a track to which you relate to, as you enjoy the psychedelic / cosmic qualities of Building The Bird’s backgrounds.


Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify.  If you enjoy his music and are able to provide monetary support, you might consider downloading it on Bandcamp.

It also helps to stream and share his music; you can obviously find it in the following Playlists on release day May 06th: Less Than 1,000 Followers,  Fresh SinglesIndie Only,  Alterindie State Of Mind,   12 New Songs This Week Chill Folk AcousticAutumn Acoustic, and Unknown But Essentials!

Remember that you can always find me here Linktree MadZen for all my social media and collaborations.

P.S. If you enjoy discovering new artists and fresh new music you can subscribe to this blog Less Than 1,000 Followers and follow the Playlist with all the artists that we have presented here!

This coverage was created via    Musosoup   #sustainablecurator

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