Andrew Bird is at it again with his new release Are You Serious?, out now through Loma Vista Records. For those familiar with Bird’s work, this album offers plenty of familiar ground. His patented violin folk rock filled with layers of loops and whistles has arrived in full. Unlike his previous work, this album is much more emotionally open. Bird has been known to have difficult, almost coded lyrics that take time to solve. However, possibly thanks to his new marriage, he switches out the cryptic metaphors for head-on explorations of relationships past and present.
Songs such as “Capsized,” “Chemical Switches,” and “Truth Lies Low” focus on the difficulties of relationships and how easily they can end, while “Left Handed Kisses,” “Are You Serious,” and “Bellevue” turn that focus around to the surprise of having actually found someone who is going to stick it out with you for your entire life. “Left Handed Kisses,” one of the standouts of the album, plays with the singer’s disbelief that “Now you’ve got me writing love songs.” The title track, “Are You Serious,” is the real set piece of the album though as it goes over the thoughts of a person who is deciding whether or not they should go through with marriage. Asking “are you serious” enough to go through with this “cause every night of your life you’ll fight for it.” Overall, Bird brings his familiar sounds with a new lyrical honesty that fits well with his larger oeuvre and will be welcome by all of his fans.
Recommended If You Like: Sufjan Stevens, M. Ward, Father John Misty
Recommended Tracks: 4( Puma), 6 (Left Handed Kisses), 9 (The New Saint Jude)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Zach Hill on 04/11/16