If you haven’t watched the video for ‘Give it Away’, the lead track on Andrew Bird’s most recent EP of the same name, do it now. Immediately. It features a human piñata at a 1950’s-style kids birthday party, and a group of slightly scary children who beat him to death for sweets (spoiler alert: he doesn’t stay dead for long). What it has to do with the song we’re not entirely sure, but this is equally good, an upbeat but philosophical musing on the commodification of love and affection: ‘I didn’t know that your love was a commodity/What about appreciation?’
‘Danse Carribe’ does what it says on the tin (drum), and is a more steel-heavy reworking of the same track from Break it Yourself. A delightful fusion of European folk and Caribbean rhythms and instruments, you’d have to have a heart made of cold dead stone not to love it just a bit. ‘So Much Wine’ is all camp-fire atmospherics, a simple acoustic guitar providing the backdrop to Bird’s rich, soaring vocal. It segues into a lazy, twangy, country swing, complete with some beautiful male-female vocal harmonies, proving that while experimentation is fun, Bird can manage without it just fine. Rounding it all off nicely is ‘Tarrytown’, a woozy, dreamy, largely instrumental piece which reminded us of the James/Brian Eno collaboration, Wah Wah, for the first time in years. All in all, a satisfying little gem from this highly prolific, almost ridiculously talented multi-instrumentalist and composer.