Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself

Andrew Bird - Fiddler, occasional whistler, classically-trained composer and eclectic indie alt-pop darling returns with his sixth (sort of) "solo" release - and first since 2009's fine 150k-selling Noble Beast.... self-produced and recorded at his barn in Western Illinois, the diverse collection of new songs reflects Bird's desire to capture the sound of four musicians playing live: “Too many records sound like a series of decisions, not a performance," he says // Release: Break It Yourself (March 6, Mom & Pop) // Sounds like: more atmospheric and less overtly song-centered, the mood of BIY is reflective and, on occasion, decidedly serene: tracks that play out like miniature sound pieces that just may or may not have words to go along with the intricately arranged music...“There’s your morning songs and there’s your late night songs," observes Bird, an attitude that's matched by the album's wide sweep of styles and personalities...

Quote:   On songwriting - "Music is almost always first, and I'm often tempted to leave it instrumental. But something happens over time with a melody I really like, where to really give it weight I need to sing it, and for that I need words." / What we like: Bird's sound looping is the signature template for the completely solo, eight-minute acoustic extravaganza "Hole in the Ocean Floor", a marvel of intricately detailed chamber pop..."Sifters" utilizes a similar array of plucked, percussive stringwork as Bird's oblique melody drifts from folk ditty to dramatic art/pop gem and back again without missing a beat... "Lusitania", a duet with Annie Clark (aka St Vincent), is a sweet country stroll...we can't think of another artist who so skillfully conjures elements of folk, classical, jazz, pop and country in such a seamless display...Break It Yourself, as challenging as it is inviting, may take a few, hopefully solitary and undisturbed listens to completely sink in but, then again, that's part of the Bird's special charm...

 

Andrew Bird - "Sifters" (from Break It Yourself)

 

Andrew Bird - "Eyeoneye" (from Break It Yourself)

Stream Break It Yourself in full at NPR...