BMA single review by Vince Leigh
Be Brave marks the fourth single for Canberra’s Birdcapital (aka Palimah Panichit). This time, the singer, songwriter, and producer is joined by fellow CBR-er Saulè, whose vocal approach is a perfect fit.
What first strikes one about Be Brave is the groove. It has a shuffling yet straight-time mid-paced feel, created by an assortment of percussive sounds aided by acoustic guitar, eighth-note staccato string accompaniment, and a bass drum heartbeat.
Some attributes are stripped back during the opening verse, allowing the lyric and the melody to rise to the surface, with the strings continuing the rhythm as the melody glides atop.
More verses follow, intensifying in melodic lines and narrative candour. The transition to the first chorus is smooth, allowing the single-line hook to do its work. After a few listens, the hook settles in.
After an interlude featuring subdued electric guitar phrases, we’re back into the more replete groove, only for it to usher us into a second verse, giving us Saulè’s lone vocal over a muted acoustic guitar pattern. This helps give the track a sense of dynamics and drama.
As the string pulses continue, we’re led back to the second and final chorus, but not before some intriguing lyrics compel our attention, imparting a loving yet restrained resonance: You are sweet, you are kind, like I met you as a child
The mix of guitars, strings, percussion, and Birdcapital’s mostly low-register vocal, suggest a contemporary folk-pop slash country air, with the lyric undoubtedly adding weight to this impression. The prominence of Saulè’s vocal performance, as it mixes with Palimah’s, solidifies the shared limelight concept, further giving us what might be a slice of life infused into a melodically tempered but vaguely romantic sensibility.
Be Brave is another welcome addition to Birdcapital’s musical output, perhaps the most accessible and refined one yet.