We’re only two weeks into 2019, but already it’s shaping up to be a huge year for British singer-songwriter Jade Bird. She recently announced the official release date for her self-titled debut album, the anticipation of which has been bolstered by one high-quality single after another. Her new single, “I Get No Joy,” was released in tandem with the more razor-edged “Uh Huh” and “Love Has All Been Done Before,” and hints at a fresh frustration and yearning that feels true, even this early on, for an artist like Bird.
The premise of the song is an interesting take from Bird, who, upon first glance, seems able to derive joy from almost anything, whether it’s the joy of embarking upon her first major tours or that of recording her first full-length album. But Bird’s music itself runs the full gamut of self-consciousness, from the questioning nature of a troubled relationship in “Love Has All Been Done Before” to the righteous self-awareness of “Good Woman” from her debut EP, Something American. “I Get No Joy” turns this critical eye to her artwork, bursting with a frustration and a specific creative drive that harkens back to Alanis Morissette hits like “Right Through You.” Wielding the moody electric guitar that is swiftly becoming her trademark, Bird questions herself and others with lines like, “Electric, connected, unexpectedly affected / What do you need? What do you need? / I get no joy.” Her optimism peeks through with the almost-murmured line, “I know the sun will shine / Another day, another time,” which expertly leads the song toward its close. “I Get No Joy” feels like a new branch for Bird in terms of subject matter, and that it speaks well of her upcoming album’s potential at this point comes as no surprise.