“Hummingbird” – Armand Margjeka
Combining a brisk pace with a laid-back vibe, “Hummingbird” likewise merges a warm acoustic aura with electronic effects. Margjeka processes his voice in a megaphone-y way that manages to bridge all these polarities: he sounds at once urgent and relaxed, confessional and remote.
Ultimately it is the narrator’s brain being compared to the titular creature here, which explains the song’s rapid pulse and the jittery guitar sound that first surfaces in the background at 0:52 and comes back, in the foreground, around 3:10. As motion-oriented as the song is, there’s also a kind of serenity about its focused, recycling melodies and its deliberately placed sounds—again a kind of echo of the hummingbird, which flutters its wings faster than the eye can see even while floating carefully in one place. I am especially drawn to the insistent verse melody and its upturned conclusion, the ongoing repetitions of which accumulate in my awareness with an edgy kind of poignancy.
Margjeka was born in Albania, and was schooled in the basics of rock’n’roll, not to mention English itself, through recordings and videos that made their way into the country in the post-Wall ’90s. At 18, he emigrated to the U.S. and eventually settled in Birmingham, Alabama. After recording two EPs with an alt-country band called Buffalo Black, Margjeka released the solo album Margo Margo in 2011. “Hummingbird” is the title track to his sophomore release, coming out next month via both PIPEANDGUN and Communicating Vessels. MP3 via Magnet Magazine.