The classically inspired indie-folk savant and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird makes his FreshGrass debut with a new record, My Finest Work Yet (March 22, 2019), in tow. Bird’s singular sound – beautifully crafted songs lit up by soaring bowed and plucked and strummed violin passages, looping, and the finest whistling you’ve ever heard – are like nothing else at FreshGrass, or anywhere else in the music world.
“He is the only performer who has lit up both Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo with a combination of vocals, violin, guitar, glockenspiel and whistling … he uses centuries-old instrumentation to give depth and soul to folk rock.”
Andrew Bird confirms the release of his forthcoming album, My Finest Work Yet, due March 22 on Loma Vista Recordings.
My Finest Work Yet finds Bird grappling with themes of current day dichotomies and how to identify a moral compass amidst such divisive times. “I’m interested in the idea that our enemies are what make us whole—there’s an intimacy one shares with their opponent when locked in such a struggle. If we were to just walk away would our enemies miss us? How did we get to this point and how can we, through awareness of it, maybe pull ourselves out of this death spiral,” says Bird.
He tackles these topics with a more direct songwriting approach than his previous releases, taking greater risks both lyrically and in recording. Bird and the band taped all the songs live without headphones or separation attempting to create a sound where all instruments bled into each other’s microphones. Of the new music, Bird reflects, “There is a certain optimism to this record…it’s pretty up musically though it doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the lyrics.” Produced by Paul Butler, My Finest Work Yet was recorded at Barefoot Recordings in Los Angeles, CA.
The new single, “Sisyphus,” is titled after the Greek king punished by Zeus for trying to outsmart the gods and cheat death. Bird shares that the track, “is about being addicted to your own suffering and the moral consequences of letting the rock roll.” His previous single, “Bloodless,” which debuted in November along with the track’s official music video (directed by Matthew Daniel Siskin), also appears on the new album—watch/share here. Written after the 2016 election, Bird states, “‘Bloodless’ has always been the template for the rest of the album,” furthering, “it took me a while to step back and say, ‘What can I say that’s going to be helpful?’ I feel like if I’m going to contribute to anything, it should be coming from some perspective that we haven’t yet thought about.”
Andrew Bird is an internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, whistler and songwriter who picked up his first violin at the age of four and spent his formative years soaking up classical repertoire completely by ear.