Beloved singer-songwriter and world-class whistler Andrew Bird is back with new material, whose ninth album Are You Serious comes out via Loma Vista April 1. The record is professed to be his most personal yet, with less abstruse wordplay and a more vulnerable side of the multilayered artist on view.
Bird muses: “What happens when real ordeals befall someone who has always been happy writing from their imagination and the distance of the third person? Who has time for poetics while grappling with birth and death? What’s the role of sincerity for a songwriter who doesn’t really go in for the confessional thing? This is what I struggled with for this record. I suppose the title could be poking fun at my own foray into the confessional realm.”
The result is a distillation of distinct, unguarded arrangements and ideas that resonated with Bird over a three-to-four year period. In advance of the LP he’s shared a few tracks — including “Roma Fade,” a song about the nervous tension of romantic attraction, propelled by his signature pizzicato on the violin and a propulsive drum beat. The track also comes accompanied by classic artwork from conceptual artist John Baldessari.
Bird will be hitting the road at the end of March in support of the new album, performing to a sold-out crowd at DC’s 9:30 Club April 5.
This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the brilliant artistry and musical genius of Andrew Bird. On November 12th he released new EP I Want to See Pulaski at Night, which is primarily instrumental save for the title track. Pitchfork describes “Pulaski at Night” as Bird at his best: “tightly crafted, lyrically witty, understated yet sophisticated” – and “stalwartly Romantic.” True, true.
A. Bird has a handful of tour dates coming up in December listed below, including a stop in Brooklyn. And how they’re not already sold out, I don’t know.
Half empty, half full
Cup runneth over
Horns of plenty, coffers full
We’re starting over
Upcoming Tour Dates:
12/6 Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade NYC
12/9 Chicago, IL – Fourth Presbyterian Church
12/10 Chicago, IL – Fourth Presbyterian Church
12/11 Chicago, IL – Fourth Presbyterian Church
12/12 Chicago, IL – Fourth Presbyterian Church
12/16 San Francisco, CA – Congregation Sherith Israel
12/17 San Francisco, CA – Congregation Sherith Israel
12/19 Los Angeles, CA – Immanuel Presbyterian
12/20 Los Angeles, CA – Immanuel Presbyterian
How this accomplished artist managed to slip under my radar until 2013 is beyond explainable — Andrew Bird, the classically trained violinist and one-man band originally from Chicago is a truly gifted musician. His brooding and improvisational vocal style is reminiscent of Rufus Wainwright. Thankfully through Indie Shuffle — who reposted the Four Tet remix this year — I’ve been introduced (better late than never?).
NPR describes his music as “an eclectic mix of gypsy ballads, jazz, folk and rock.” Interestingly, Bird also claims to rewrite his songs for the audience every night, which is apparent just by listening to a few different versions of his live tracks. I’m partial to the acoustic version of “Imitosis” below.
“Imitosis” is a track off his acclaimed 2007 album Armchair Apochrypha – and Four Tet does a nice job on the remix, keeping it close to the original with a slightly updated feel.
Stream his live concert from 930 Club circa 2007 over at NPR.
And if you’re lucky enough to be anywhere close to Bird’s upcoming tour destinations, do yourself a favor and go see this insanely talented man live.
7/25 Bearsville, NY
7/26 Bearsville, NY
7/28 Newport, RI
8/2 Happy Valley, OR
8/3 Happy Valley, OR
8/17 Sterling Heights, MI
11/14 Davis, CA
11/15 Santa Cruz, CA
11/16 Santa Cruz, CA
11/18 Arcata, CA
11/19 Chico, CA
11/21 Santa Barbara, CA