Album Reviews

ALBUM REVIEW | Towa Bird – American Hero

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It’s a debut album time for Towa Bird, as American Hero is out now via Interscope Record. 

The British-Filipino 25-year-old singer-songwriter and musician offers a sound that’s a blend of her rock, pop, and indie influences. Known as a guitarist first, Hong Kong-born, London-raised artist has made a name for herself in the contemporary music scene, after going viral on TikTok back in 2020 with short videos that would showcase her guitar skills. 

Titled American Hero, the album defines her particular sound and explores themes of freedom of love, identity, struggle and transformation. 

Bird’s first studio effort is her introduction to the music industry. American Hero tells the story of a non-American person in their twenties living the oh-so-wanted “American dream” through thirteen tracks, seven of which were already out as singles.

The “Intro”, which builds up from slow to powerful, is followed by the first official song of the album, “FML”. From these first two tracks alone, you can tell the singer-songwriter has put all the pop-rock blood in her veins in the record. 

The incredible mix of drums and electric guitar makes you want to jump off your seat, and the following four tracks don’t fall short. “Drain Me!”, “Wild Heart”, “Sorry Sorry” and “B.I.L.L.S.” share the same grungy vibes as their predecessor, with catchy hooks and choruses that are sure to be stuck in your head for days. 

At first listen, you could be inclined to think that much like the “Intro,” the whole record is going to have a powerful buildup. Each new song explodes a little more than the one before, with incredible electric guitar riffs that have become Bird’s signature. 

However, the artist curated the track list in a way that gives the album as a whole a reverse buildup. Accompanied by a production team composed of Thomas Powers, Luke Niccoli, Alexander23 and Luke Wild, Bird made the first half of the album an explosion of rock sounds while the second half is more pop-centered, with dynamic vocals and catchy melodies.

The following three songs on the album, “Deep Cut”, “Ew”, and “Last Dance” showcase that rock-to-pop switch perfectly. In an effort to have listeners come down gently from the adrenaline rush of the first half of the album, the three tracks encourage them to take a step back and focus of the lyrics. 

And if fans, old and new, needed any more ways to fully empathize with the artist, the ensuing three tracks should do the trick. “Boomerang”, “This isn’t me”, and “May Flower” feature impactful lyrics and vocals as well as a more laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. 

The final track, “A Party”, wraps up the album in the best way: acoustically. As the light strumming of an acoustic guitar sounds out like a steam of consciousness, the listener is taken back to the first notes of the “Intro,” thus coming full circle. 

In many ways, the concept of the album and its reverse build-up fall in line with the message the album wants to convey: moving away from your roots transforms you.

The whole growth process is actually well-represented in this album. It starts with the excitement and eagerness of beginning a new life, continues with the fear of not making it, and ends with the realization that accepting transformation is what turns someone into their own version of a hero. Or in Towa Bird’s specific case, an American hero.

With its dynamic compositions and heartfelt narratives, American Hero showcases Towa Bird’s artistic growth and reaffirms her status as one of today’s most compelling musical talents, and her fans are already loving it by sharing their first thoughts with us:

“It’s amazing, there’s not a single song remotely worth skipping, ‘Ew’ in particular is a masterpiece […] Every single song has been written with passion and drive and you can feel the work put into it when listening.“ 

Charlotte (on X)

“It has such a fresh sound with such different genres that fit together perfectly. […] I think the lyrics explain what its like to feel certain emotions during your 20’s when you’re still learning to grow. 10/10 album and special mention to ‘may flower’, such a beautiful song.”

A (on X)

“It’s for sure a skipless album and it feels so good to listen to queer artists and queer songs. […] The lyrics are very simple but you get it and you feel every single thing. the production is out of this world, it’s just so good and incredible. My favorite song is may flower, everything about this song is so good and special.”

Ana (on X)

Towa Bird will support her album on tour this fall, with stops in Santa Ana, Los Angeles, Columbia and New York City. 

Hi! I'm a 23 y.o. girl from Italy who writes about music, plays guitar, and loves to take pictures at concerts!