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When singer-songwriter Bird York—also an actor and screenwriter—composed the 2006 Academy Award-nominated song “In The Deep” for the Oscar-nominated film Crash, she had no visuals to go on, only a draft of the script by writer-director Paul Haggis. York originally met Haggis in 2000 when she appeared in and conceived music for his critically acclaimed series Family Law, and their fluid collaboration grew out of the fast pace demanded by a weekly hour-long series. Featuring Bird’s soulful vocals, “In The Deep”—which also appears on York’s major label debut Wicked Little High--wraps an ethereal and haunting aural blanket around Crash’s onscreen narrative in a pivotal final sequence, when the crushed and ravaged characters each reflect, in solitude, on what has happened.Read More...
Quiet, mesmerizing and anything but comforting, the song lingers in memory.
Nic Harcourt, respected music guru at NPR flagship KCRW-FM/Los Angeles, has called Bird, “a songwriter of extraordinary depth with a voice to match.” Billboard’s Chris Morris has written--citing her “melodic grace” and affecting honesty”--that, “Bird York's songs subtly reveal those things that rise out of the corners of the night: Memory, reverie, desire, and the emotions that lie cloaked when the sun is high.” York began writing songs in her teens, after both her parents died, and her resonant compositions reflect hard-won life experience and a survivor’s mettle. “I’m fifteen, homeless, and some older ex-hippie guy gives me a beat-up guitar,” she says. “When most girls are worried about what to wear, I am wondering about where I am going to sleep. But I have this guitar and decided I was going to write myself a song to ride out of the freak show called TOO MUCH TOO SOON”
“In The Deep” is just one in a sensual and intoxicatingly hypnotic collection of songs on York’s Narada/EMI major label album debut, Wicked Little High. Elegantly delivered and emotionally stirring, the disc subliminally slips, slowly but inevitably, deep into your consciousness with a sound that Music Biz Magazine called “torch trip hop.” The album opens with the richly textured and subtly psychedelic “Had A Dream,” produced by GRAMMY®-winning engineer/mixer Thom Russo (Macy Gray, Audioslave). The song swirls around the thoughts, “where logic ends, faith begins,” and, “wondering if we just try and risk everything for love/how can we ever go wrong.”
Other stand-outs include the title track, an ironic meditation on the downside of a physical attraction that counters logic and wisdom but persists nevertheless—“Desire is such a wicked little high when the one you want is blind to you.” York’s insightful lyrics and seductive, smoky vocals make the notion of “the fifth drink before a long drive home” palpable. Wicked Little High also includes collaborations with GRAMMY®-winning producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Madeline Peyroux), and songs from the album have already aired on the network television shows House, CSI:NY, Everwood, Jake 2.0 and In Justice, as well as in the John Cusack-produced film Never Get Outta The Boat and the New line feature Peaceful Warrior. Songs from her critically acclaimed debut cd have been featured on Nip/Tuck as well as other film and tv projects.
Possessed by a “driving desire to make things,” Bird York’s artistry is manifested across multiple disciplines. Her extensive acting credits include an ongoing role on NBC’s The West Wing, appearing in over sixteen episodes of the EMMY and Golden Globe winning show as Andy Wyatt. York has also appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm as well as played the starring role in the NBC bio pic mini series LOVE CAN BUILD A BRIDGE portraying Naomi Judd from 25-45. On the big screen, she’s performed in features with Dennis Hopper, Diane Keaton, Julianna Margulies and Tom Waits, currently completing filming on SUBLIME opposite Tom Cavanaugh for Warner Bros?Raw Feed and is about to begin filming on the indie FOOTSTEPS this July.
On the writing side, beyond composing, York has just compeleted a screenplay for John Wells /Warner Bros. Television, and a music-based series that she developed has been sold to Sony.
With everything she’s accomplished, York notes that over the years, she’s often taken the road less traveled and turned down opportunities that didn’t allow her to follow her heart or that reigned in her creativity. “I live for that tingly moment,” she says. “Even if something doesn’t work out, I could die knowing that I listened to my heart. My life really is about passion, my passion for humanity and I don’t think you should have to compartmentalize passion--I want to sing about it, write about it, and embody it in acting roles. I’m a storyteller, and my intention is to tell stories that elevate the human condition.”
“I am interested in how music can change the molecules in a room,” she says, “and how music can make you want to slip out of your clothes and kiss someone. " Right now, that passion is transcendent through Bird York’s music via the Academy Award-nominated song “In The Deep” and her new album Wicked Little High.
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- LyricsThought you had
all the answers
to rest your heart upon.
But something happens,
don't see it coming, now
- LyricsHave no fear in your heart
though you feel you've been broken and lost
there's a world where we will meet up again
there's a place that mends your hurt and takes you in
there are times faced alone
- LyricsIn the afternoon
She sits and waits for him to come
Two swollen ankles count the time
Nervous fingers trace
Across the cold linoleum
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