Andrew Bird just keeps getting better and better. His 2001 release, The Swimming Hour, veered magically from somber mood pieces to garage rock freakouts, ably assisted by former Blacks guitarist Nora O’Connor. His latest, Weather Systems, is another tune fest, focusing more this time on the atmospheric side of things. For the most part the songs are quiet, from the near whisper of “First Song” to a cover of the Handsome Family’s “Don’t Be Scared.” O’Connor is still aboard, settling in smoothly with creamy harmonies and subtle guitar. Lest you begin to get lulled by the rather wistful nature of the disc, “Skin” appears, with plucked violins going head to head with snotty keyboards (imagine Esquivel playing roots music), another example of Bird’s ability to mesh seemingly disparate elements into a unified whole. This is a record with moments of beauty, menace and grace. What will he do next?
Andrew Bird: http://www.bowloffire.com/