FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2016 |
Posted by: Don Saas
This is what we need more of in our life. Totally unexpected collaborations that make perfect sense when they finally happen. The last one of these that we can really remember was when St. Vincent and David Byrne released an entire album together back in 2012. Sadly, I don't think we'll be getting a full album from this latest unexpected collaboration but Andrew Bird and Fiona Apple on one track is the pairing I never knew I needed.
Bird's latest record, Are You Serious, is due out April 1st, and he's shared the single, "Left Handed Kisses," which features Fiona Apple (and is the first piece of new music I've heard from her since 2012's The Idler Wheel...). Bird's 2012 output, Break It Yourself, is an album that has grown on me significantly since it's release, and it would be exciting enough that we're getting new Bird (who's been releasing music pretty consistently in the years since that record), but the track "Left Handed Kisses" is a gorgeous fusion of everything that folks love about him and Apple.
At first glance, it doesn't even necessarily sound like an Andrew Bird track or a Fiona Apple track. It starts with sparse guitar work that is devoid of any of the lush strings that we associate with Bird's classical violin style. The theatrical production/strings do arrive but they're more understated than the typical Bird track. The song almost sounds like a lost B side from the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack. But there is something that immediately ties it together as a track from either of these artists...and it's the quality they've always had in common that makes a pair between the two so logical. Hyperliterate storytelling.
If the lyrical work that we're getting from Bird on this track is indicative of what we can expect from the rest of Are You Serious, expect us to officially declare April as the month of Andrew Bird. And although it seems like this might be the only collaboration between Bird and Apple that we're getting now, we've got our fingers crossed that we'll see a more extended partnership from the duo in the future.