The path towards your true self is one that calls for patience and bravery, that much seems to be for sure. As a songwriter you get the chance to explore this path via your music and Naomi Hamilton clearly followed the call with Wisdom Teeth being the next logical step in her own artistic evolution. That why the Belfast-based singer decided to give this whole ‘music thing’ a shot following after graduating from university back in 2017. Jealous Of The Birds is the place for these ideas, an alter ego that allows Hamilton to find a healthy level of dealing with life in general. ‘I’ve been fortunate enough to have been surrounded by a handful of creative mentors and people full of life lust over the past seven or eight years,’ she explains her dedication to follow her own inner voice.

‘With most things in life it’s a combination of being receptive to the wisdom and experience of those around you but also trusting your gut-instinct.’

One person that helped her in particular is Hamilton’s my manager and good friend Declan Legge who has been there from the start of the Jealous of the Birds journey. ‘So many significant moments would just not have been possible without his guidance and support.’ Ever since releasing her first EP Capricorn back in 2015 when she was still studying she’s been quite productive in terms of output. Her debut full-length Parma Violets followed shortly after before last summer’s EP The Moths Of What I Want Will Eat Me In My Sleep started a new chapter in her solo career. The forthcoming EP Wisdom Teeth feels like a natural progression of her own evolution and you can clearly sense that things have changed. When Parma Violets was recorded I’d only been writing songs for about ten or eleven months’, Hamilton reflects on her early songwriting days. ‘There was a certain naivety to Parma Violets that’s indicative of the time those songs were written which isn’t necessarily a negative thing, but I think it’s interesting to look at both records in an objective light and notice the progression.’

Embracing authenticity

By the time Wisdom Teeth will be released she’ll be about four years into songwriting. However for her it’s still a pretty infinitesimal amount of time, making each release a snapshot of her inner landscape at that time. Wisdom Teeth is a burst of artistic confidence, one that shows that Jealous Of The Birds is way more than another ‘girl with an acoustic guitar’ affair. Lead single Marrow isn’t hiding it’s Irish roots and mixes these traditional vibes with a powerful modern rock touch. In New York Has A Lump In Her Throat Hamilton surprises the listener with a spoken words part while the second single Blue Eyes is quite a funky affair that comes with an irresistible grooving note. ‘Tapping into different creative outlets is something I’ve done pretty consistently since I was twelve,’ she explains and that’s why Jealous Of The Birds appears to be quite tricky when it comes to a specific genre-labelling. And by allowing all those adventures the songwriter actually delivers something quite authentic because that’s just how she is. And she things a lot about it ‘especially in an industry where so much of what happens is smoke and mirrors’ as she tells me. It wasn’t until she came out at the age of nineteen where Hamilton truly started embracing her authentic self which obviously also affects her art.

‘It’s impossible to live out your truths when so much of who you are is suppressed, and no matter how far in denial you are about the extent of that self-censorship, its effects will always reach farther and deeper than you first imagined. That lack of authenticity can manifest itself in a whole bunch of different ways for an artist, but ultimately the dots connect somehow and in order to be a fulfilled, healthy human being, there comes a point when following your intuition becomes absolutely imperative.’

Photo by Vivian Wang

As you can see – she thought this thing through and artistic freedom will stuck on the number one spot in her priority ranking for quite some time as it appears. I mean that also explains why she’s actually jealous of birds to some degrees. ‘For me the name carries that whimsical idea of being jealous of the freedom birds have to fly. I think that’s something we all relate to in one sense or another throughout our lives.’ Well said, well said. Despite only being five-tracks long Wisdom Teeth is a release that celebrates that creative authenticity and free spirit and lust for surprise.

Besides her musical releases, Hamilton also got her own YouTube show called Jealous of the Bops where she recommends beloved records. Grown out of a Spotify playlist this sort-of podcast is a really entertaining affair, I must say and it shows another interesting side of her. She explains: ‘I really dig that sense of intimacy and being in a position to appreciate other people’s music in a bit more depth. Generally I like to pick one classic album and another more contemporary record per episode, just to mix up the flavours a little bit.’ As you can see, she’s full of surprises and that can be a great source of inspiration, right? Just take the freshly released music video for Blue Eyes which was directed by Joey Brodnax. Hamilton explains: ‘Joey’s concepts had a certain wacky humour that I really dig, and the video itself is full of sass, non-sequiturs, high energy and bold colours, which is exactly what I wanted to compliment this song.’ You can now catch the exclusive world premiere of the new video Blue Eyes right here on NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION.

Wisdom Teeth arrives on February 1 via Hand In Hive.

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