Andrew Bird has a new album out called Armchair Apocrypha, a followup to 2005’s Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs, and it (along with its predecessor) are well worth your time to look up. Today’s song is from Armchair Apocrypha, called “Heretics”, which was highlighted back in April on KEXP’s Song of the Day podcast. It was highlighted for good reason: it’s an absolutely fantastic song.
One of the things Andrew Bird is known for is his ready use of loops to effectively play over his own work, which ends up giving a much richer sound than might otherwise be expected (he apparently does this live as well, using loop pedals to great effect). The song opens with a high hat and electric guitar, then grows to add a violin and another guitar, before the drums come up in earnest, and the pace of the song suddenly picks up. The song rises and falls several times as it progresses, before coming to a final denouement as the elements drop away to end on a quiet note. The melody is engaging, and works remarkably well with the lyrics both stylistically, and thematically.
I’ve had “Heretics” on loop while writing this review, and I must say, it simply continues to be excellent: I’ve listened to it probably a dozen times in a row at this point, and I’m still finding myself engaged by it. Whether you’ve already heard Andrew Bird in the past, or are just now being introduced to his work, you will be well pleased with this song.