Today’s Song: Jade Bird’s Winning “Lottery” Hits Home with Raw Passion

Lottery - Jade Bird
Raw and heartfelt, Jade Bird’s breakout hit “Lottery” captures passion, pain, and the emotional strain between former flames.

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You used to tell me that love is a lottery…

Some songs just hit the jackpot; for British singer/songwriter Jade Bird, her breakout single “Lottery” marks the turning point in a young career already destined for greatness. Yet “Lottery” is more than Bird’s lucky break: Raw and heartfelt, the song captures the complex emotional strain between former flames who stay friends after the fire has died.

I was nineteen & you were twenty-three
We stayed in number four Ferdinand Street
We spent five talking ‘bout our lives
But we talked like that
About a thousand times
And I’m bored of all that
Listen: “Lottery” – Soft Streak


It’s very hard to remain friends with your ex – a notion Jade Bird can speak to all too well. Born in Hexham, UK and now based in London, Jade Bird first caught Atwood Magazine‘s ears and eyes last year with her debut EP Something American (Glassnote Records), containing the inimitable folk ballad “What Am I Here For“:

The heartbreak is palpable. People from all walks of life know this tale. Thinking your life is going one way and then having it ripped right out from under you with no warning. It was out of her control. She so eloquently tells this story. She weaves poetry in and out, leaves some to our imagination, but still gives us all we need to feel, to relate, and to yearn for more.
Lottery - Jade Bird

Lottery – Jade Bird

Jade Bird has a knack for capturing powerful universal experiences through an intimately personal lens. It was one thing when she sang aching acoustic ballads; with a full backing band and crystal-clear production, “Lottery” hits home and takes our breath away all at the same time.

When Bird finally lets loose in “Lottery,” it’s as if all the tension with her ex-partner has rushed to the surface at once. Her evocative voice erupts with emotion, painting a vivid internal struggle to move on from this person who meant so much, and keep him around – because while she may not love him romantically, she does love him – and he knows her better than anyone.

You used to tell me
that love is a lottery

And you got your numbers
and you’re betting on me

You used to say that
Love is a game but
You got your numbers
and you’re betting on me
Jade Bird © Francesca Allen

Jade Bird © Francesca Allen

She’s moved on from him, but at the same time he represents a past that is intricately connected to who she’s becoming. How can you just throw that away? “’Lottery’ is a look into a new, colourful, vibrant phase of my songwriting,” Jade Bird shared in the song’s initial release back in January. “It’s full of energy and happiness, but [is] actually quite the heartbreak song in the end. The verses are very personal to me, “number four Ferdinand Street” being my favourite blues bar me and said ex used to perform in. I guess it’s a case of, Do you still believe in me even though we’re apart?

Bird’s conflict is easily relatable. We all have our ghosts: The remnants of past lives that remind us of who we once were. Her ex knew her before she signed to Glassnote Records, before she toured Europe and North America; before the success she’s already enjoyed, and the success that’s still to come.

What hurts even more than that, though, is the fact that he still loves her: “You got your numbers and you’re betting on me,” Bird shouts in each chorus, haunted by the love of someone she needs, but no longer feels that way about. Can such a relationship last?

Lottery - Jade Bird

Lottery - Jade Bird

Hold on my dear, hold on real tight
It’s just a numbers game in my mind
And we’ve been here a thousand times
A thousand times, a thousand –
You used to tell me that love is a lottery
But you’ve got your numbers
and you’re betting on me

You used to say that
Love is a game but
You got your numbers
and you’re playing anyway

Ultimately, it’s the sheer, utter heartache of “Lottery” that sends the song soaring to such great heights, demanding repeat listens that tug harder and harder at our heartstrings. A love-strained anthem churning with nostalgia and longing, affection and distance, “Lottery” has won us over hard, and we cannot wait to hear more from Jade Bird. Dive deeper into this artist to watch‘s catalog and catch her live on her debut North American headline tour throughout 2018 – dates and more info below!

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:: stream/purchase “Lottery” here ::

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Lottery - Jade Bird

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Jade Bird Stuns in Live Video “What Am I Here For”

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:: Jade Bird Tour Dates ::

*Anderson East / †First Aid Kit
5/11 — Louisville, KY — Headliner’s Music Hall*
5/12 — Indianapolis, IN — The Vogue*
5/13 — Detroit, MI — Saint Andrew’s Hall*
5/15 — Madison, WI — Majestic Theatre*
5/18 — Chicago, IL — Thalia Hall*
6/7 — Manchester, TN — Bonnaroo Music Festival
6/8 — Raleigh, NC — NC Museum of Art†
6/10 — St. Louis, MO — The Pageant†
6/16 — Dover, DE — Firefly Festival
6/17 — Hunter, NY — Mountain Jam Festival
6/19 — Dallas, TX — Dallas Arboretum
8/31 — Portland, OR — Doug Fir Lounge
8/31-9/2 — Seattle, WA — Bumbershoot Festival
9/1 — Vancouver, BC — Biltmore Cabaret
9/6 — San Francisco, CA — The Chapel
9/7 — West Hollywood, CA — Troubadour
9/8 — San Diego, CA — Casbah
9/9 — Phoenix, AZ — Valley Bar
9/12 — Salt Lake City, UT — Kilby Court
9/14-16 — Denver, CO — Grandoozy
9/18 — Dallas, TX — Club Dada
9/19 — Austin, TX — Antone’s Nightclub
9/20 — Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hall
9/22-23 — Franklin, TN — Pilgrimage Festival
9/26 — New York, NY — Bowery Ballroom
9/27 — Boston, MA — Brighton Music Hall
9/28 — Washington, DC — Rock & Roll Hotel
9/29 — Philadelphia, PA — The Foundry at The Fillmore
10/2 — Toronto, ON — The Horseshoe Tavern
10/6 — Minneapolis, MN — Fine Line Music Café
10/7 — Chicago, IL — Lincoln Hall
tix & info @ jade-bird.com

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com