We asked former Selebrities frontwoman Maria Usbeck to compile us a list of her top 5 favourite songs featuring the sound of birds tweeting

With a brand new solo album on the way following her departure from the short-lived (and sorely missed) indie band Selebrities we thought it’d be a great time to check in with Maria Usbeck. Her debut solo record Amparo – an entirely Spanish language album – was written across stints in Ecuador, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Barcelona, Lisbon, Easter Island, Costa Rica, Florida, L.A. and her home in Brooklyn over a three year period. From what we’ve heard so far it’s going to be more than worth the wait.

After seeing the sights and living the life Usbeck’s certainly learned a thing or two about nature and so, we thought, what better way to put her worldly knowledge to the test than to have her curate a playlist of songs that sample nature’s own music; the music of birdsong.

Take it away Maria!

Yma Sumac – Chuncho

I love her, everything about her is absolutely fascinating. Yma had the most unbelievable control over her vocals, she was able to imitate sounds from nature and this way create beautiful songs such as this one. Also the set created for this video is somewhere I would love to hang out for days.

Midori Takada - Mr Henri Rousseau's Dream

This was Rousseau’s last painting, his style of Naïve Art is one of my top favorites. So when I found out that Midori Takada had written a song inspired by this painting I lost my mind and my hearing from overplaying it.

The album from which it comes from is so good you all need to find it immediately after reading the end of this sentence. Midori is one of my favorite Japanese composers/percussionists. She has a huge inspiration when writing some of the percussion for my album.

Isabelle Antena - Camino Del Sol

One of the few songs I’ve ever heard about Palm Beach, Florida. It’s such a good tropical tune. Antena really at her finest, at least for me. It’s nice to see her using more organic sounds on this record. A good tune for a sunny or rainy day.

It also reminds me of the Incas and the sun god Inti, I wonder if she thought of that at all.

Yas Kaz - Jungle Book

This track is a completely organic composition. As the title explains, can’t help but feel as if you are in Jungle Book when listening.

Fully emerged in the deepest of the forest amongst all the animals and perhaps an indigenous tribe playing around you.

Also makes me think of Hermeto Pascoal and his experimental music, water flute playing.

Ippu-Do - Plants' Music

From the album Night Mirage on of my favorite 80’s Japanese albums. All the instruments used to write this track are so on point.

That’s all I have to say, it’s excellent.


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