Bird Feet
Patina

by Jim Di Gioia

January 10, 2018

Bird Feet’s Patina is burnished with rust-coloured observations and sky blue/sea-foam green memories.

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It’s commonly misunderstood that metals oxidize due to exposure to oxygen (the similar sounding words certainly don’t help clear the confusion). Metals actually get their grey-green-brown patina as atoms lose electrons through chemical reactions with compounds like, but not limited to, oxygen. Oxidation goes hand-in-hand with reduction—its opposite reaction in which atoms gain electrons that others have shed.

Why the science lesson? Mostly because of the resonance between these chemical reactions and Dawson-based musician Bird Feet’s 2017 release Patina. While travelling through India in February 2017, Kimberly Edgar took up the challenge of writing and recording Patina in just twenty-eight days. Whatever losses the music might have experienced given the time restrictions of the challenge are balanced by the gains evident on the grainy, gritty, gorgeous finished product. Free from the hassle of practice, perfection, and studio production, Patina is an honest and raw record.

Patina is poignant and heartbreaking; living, human oxidation and reduction, built on Kimberly Edgar’s voice and processed ukulele playing alone. On the lovely/depressing “Train Wreck”, Edgar laments the probability of love being erased from existence by the possibility of disaster: “And if this train derails / our love will dissipate / and settle like a dust /into the trees and the sidewalks… / to be picked up, picked up, picked up.” This image, of atoms of affection and love being scattered across nature to be absorbed by other living things, is like an entirely new chemical reaction creating an emotional patina on our surroundings. One that is burnished by earthy, rust-coloured observations and speckled with sky blue and sea-foam green memories.

Jim Di Gioia

CoFounder at DOMINIONATED.ca
Jim founded the music blogQuick Before It Melts in 2006 and was its principal writer until 2016, when its decade-long run ended 10 years to the day it started. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim currently serves as a Polaris Music Prize jurist and Prism Prize jurist.

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