Album review

Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha

Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha

Recently figuring on albums by My Morning Jacket, Will Oldham and Candi Staton, Bird has been releasing eclectic solo work of his own for a decade. Embracing swing, rock’n’roll, folk and country, his earlier LPs seemed to act as repository for a welter of American traditions. But the last two years have seen him focus on the rockier end of the spectrum.

Armchair Apocrypha finds Bird rushing ever upward: marrying the restive explorations of Eno with the chamber-pop playfulness of ‘70s John Cale. Itchy percussive tics, Eastern melodies, spectral background fuzz and carefree whistles fill out the sound, and Bird can sing too: like Jeff Buckley on "Harmchairs" and the vaulting "Dark Matter". A record dotted with peaks.

ROB HUGHES

Rating: 4 / 10

(Fargo)


Newsletter


Editor's Letter

The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...