Despite adopting the guitar and writing poetry from a relatively early age, Naomi Hamilton aka Jealous of the Birds didn't start putting together her two talents until college.
Today, Hamilton is less a singer-songwriter and more a poet who has some really good songs.
"I was mostly into poetry and literature and stuff," Hamilton tells Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke. "But I've been playing guitar since I was maybe 12 or 13 and writing poems. It seemed like a kind of natural progression of stuff that I enjoy doing for myself. It was only in my late teens that I started writing songs, original songs. It just kind of snowballed into this thing, and here I am."
With all the requisite ability as a vocalist, guitarist and lyricist, it's not much of a surprise. Hamilton began performing her music live in 2015, and gradually generated more and more of a buzz in her hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Her songs often unfold as quiet confessionals. Hamilton avoids the lyrical clichés and traps of the singer-songwriter genre by being utterly earnest and nominally professorial in her writing.
She's is the epitome of an English major with song titles like "Tonight I Feel Like Kafka." But that song is another example of her instincts serving her well. She blows up preconceived notions in the opening lines, "It's two in the morning / And I want to drink wine / Listen to Kurt singing in the pines / Couldn't be anymore hipster if I tried."
"When I think of Kafka, I think of this moody, kind of psychologically intense kind of vibe," Hamilton explains. "That was written during a time when I had this massive crush on someone...That was one of the songs I ended up writing late one night."
Jealous of the Birds' EP The Moths of What I Want Will Eat Me in My Sleep is available now.
Watch the full interview above!
Here's the music video for "Plastic Skeletons":