BIRTHH — the pseudonym for 22-year-old Italian singer/songwriter/producer Alice Bisi — offers a musical smorgasbord of sound that brings pop, folk, jazz and electronica to the mix. Often, like in the new track “Yello/Concrete,” all of those elements are alive within the same song.
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The song is the first track from her new album, which is slated to drop in early-2020 via Carosello Records. It is also one with a curious origin story that BIRTHH told American Songwriter came to be in a rather unique, albeit stoned, way.
“I was in LA at the time, I spent a whole week there while I was touring. I was completely by myself, traveling with one suitcase and three flight cases with a keyboard, a guitar and a drum pad,” Bisi said. “It gets pretty lonely in LA if you don’t know people there and it was also so hot outside, like at least 104F. So I was sitting on the bed of this grey, windowless Air BnB on Sunset Blvd and it was like 10 am, I decided I wanted to write a quick little beat to send to a rapper I’d met in Chicago. I rolled a joint and started messing with my keyboard and the clarinet library on Kontakt. Rolled another one and made two different beats, I panned one on the left side and one on the right side and against all odds it sounded surprisingly nice and organic.
“I rolled another joint and laid down the bassline, bear in mind there were no windows and I was so focused on the song that I didn’t even think about checking the time. So all those elements started coming together, I wrote the first verse, recorded it through my earphones mic, added my bgvs and those secondary little sounds that make songs a little more interesting.
“Long story short when I was done I went out to buy some water and quickly realised it was midnight. I literally worked on the song for 14 hours nonstop, not sure how that happened but I’m happy it did, I was also supposed to go to the beach that day but I’m glad I didn’t end up going!”
BIRTHH completed the album with Solange collaborator Lucius Page and the GRAMMY Award-winning mixing engineer Robert ‘LB’ Dorsey (H.E.R., The Roots) and GRAMMY Award-winning powerhouse mastering engineer Emily Lazar (David Bowie, The Killers, Lou Reed, Dolly Parton)
This single will make a wide release on Nov. 22 but is available exclusively below.
It marks the first release since the then-teenage artist broke onto the musical landscape with her ‘Born In The Woods’ album.
It is a track that she takes great pride in.
“Yello/Concrete is the tidiest way I could find to extract the images and thoughts I had in my head when I wrote it,” Bisi said. I’m saying tidiest cause I often feel like my brain keeps working at the speed of light 24/7 and being able to rationalize all these concepts is a lot of work for me.
The creation of Yello has a lot to do with the sensation of constantly feeling behind on everything and never thinking I’m doing enough, to me life feels a lot like running a marathon without really knowing what the finish line looks like, or if there even is one in the first place. I believe that every individual in this universe has their own time for growth and evolution, at the same time though I find it hard to apply this to myself, I am well aware of how volatile our existence is and even if I’m slowly learning not to be anxious about the yellow traffic lights life puts in front of us, I also feel very responsible towards the opportunities and privileges I was given as someone who has a warm bed to sleep in and time to do the things that fill my heart with joy.
“This means that in a way I feel obligated to take risks, push myself and get out of my comfort zone cause growing up and doing good things has never been a matter of comfort. For now all I can really do is stay grounded (quit doing handstands, always on my two feet), be present and do my best every day; us humans are so limited and imperfect (in the song I talk abouttrainers that are made of concrete) but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there’s so much good that we can do and I find it so beautiful.”