With his marvellous voice, inventive song writing, excellent violin playing and live looping skills Andrew Bird is an exceptional talent.
But just as you think he’s about to hit the big time, after releasing his most accessible work to date with 2012’s Break It Yourself, he then releases just about the most uncommercial concept – a seven track EP with only one song and six violin based classical instrumentals.
The key track that is blanketed in these lush orchestral numbers is Pulaski at Night, arguably one of Bird’s best ever tracks and focused on a friend’s desire to see Chicago’s Pulaski Road at night (according to some local reports its not the kind of road where visiting at night is advisable unless you want to meet prostitutes or get arrested).
Emotional and inventively arranged it is everything Bird fans love in his work all wrapped up in a few minutes. And while the instrumentals that surround it are a commercial non-starter they are superb and (to be said in the voice of a teenager from Bristol) “lush, just lush”.
As inaccessible as his latest concept is you have to admire his balls for chucking this out just as he is getting a wider appeal. I like him all the more for it, but at the same time over recent releases I’ve realised that of all his talents it is his voice that is perhaps the best. I hope for future releases we get to hear more of it.
by Joe Lepper