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  • Alexa Leung

Review: "23" - Frankie Bird

Frankie Bird 23 Cover Art

The final track of Frankie Bird’s debut album “Twenty Something” is “23”, a melodic and dreamy track that idolizes the days when the world was better, kinder, and painted with pink, rosy hues. The song transforms, though, to realize that revering the past freezes yourself in the present, halting you from ever progressing further into your current life. The age of twenty-three has come and gone, and it’s best to make the most of today– you’ll make new memories, achieve greater milestones, and be happy. Written during the pandemic, “23” echoes especially for those of us who have wanted to disappear back into the past when life felt like it was easier, but have eventually come to know that time only moves forward. It’s important to treasure those old, dreamy days, but to now carve out your life in the present lest you let time stand still.

What I was immediately drawn to in “23” were its nods to The Wizard of Oz, and the dreamlike details that Frankie Bird pinpoints from the musical in connecting the song’s narrator to Dorothy herself. To the narrator, imagining being twenty-three again is almost like clicking your heels together, but instead of going back home, you get transported to that age. The beautiful line that accompanies this is, “I close my eyes, it takes me there / Over the rainbow, far somewhere”. These references really heighten that idealistic, starry-eyed feeling that the song encapsulates about the past, doing this markedly through its songwriting. Accompanied by soft strings and gentle vocals, with the occasional piano twinkling in the background, the lyrics are also bolstered by the soundscape to further establish this atmosphere. It’s almost as if the song itself is stuck at twenty-three, along with the narrator. Eventually, this morphs into something grander, newer, and as the instrumentals swell and then relax, you hear the lyrics describe how the narrator is going to make “here and now my home / Cause there’s no place like twenty-nine”. I always love when a track can tell a story through its instrumentals and songwriting, and that’s exactly what “23” does; you’re treated to both its soundscape and writing which illustrates a struggle that many people have faced– becoming trapped in the past– and learning, sonically, that there’s a way to create a home in your current age.

American singer-songwriter Frankie Bird– previously known as FRANKIE– was deeply entwined with the music industry, even before she changed her moniker. Pre-pandemic, she toured with artists such as Troye Sivan, Dua Lipa, Charlie Puth, and Daya, but once the pandemic hit, she began her reinvention process. Diverging from her initial pop approach, she reconnected with her roots on her debut album “Twenty Something”. The album is decorated with the highs and lows of her twenties, and all the realizations and lessons of that age. While her debut EP “Dreamstate” released back in 2015, “Twenty Something” was released in 2024. On this album is “23”, its final track. If you enjoyed “23”, I highly encourage you to give the rest of “Twenty Something” a listen, as Frankie Bird soars into this new era of hers.

Written By Alexa Leung



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