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February 1st, 2007

Armchair Apocrypha, the enigma of Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird’s albums always take a few listens before one can truly appreciate their brilliance. His latest, Armchair Apocrypha, isn’t the most easily approachable album at first but with a few listens the subtle and intricate harmonies really take hold. With the addition of Martin Dosh, many of the new songs have a vastly different sound to them compared to his previous albums. At first I was weary of the introduction of new drummer Martin Dosh, because his solo material is more technical and experimental than Andrews. However, I think he has been a muse for Andrew and breaks him free of his recent solemn song structures that have dominated his last two albums. The only downfall of the album is that it apparently doesn’t include a song that I have been eagerly anticipating for months after seeing him play it live. The instrumental version of it was recently released under the name “Water Jet Cilice” on Fingerlings 3. When playing it live with vocals he introduced it as “The song that I have only sung aloud for crickets,” I was only able to put a name to it after I grabbed the setlist at the end of the show. The name of the song with vocals is “Self- Torture.” I was going to attempt to describe it but once again I am struggling with putting words to one of the most incredible songs I have heard in some time. After he finished playing it, the crowd was motionless and silent and he literally had to motion that he was finished to snap everyone out of it. Andrew then mentioned that it would hopefully be recorded for his next album out in march if they could fit it in. Unfortunately, it apparently was never recorded with vocals during the albums recording. I learned this after contacting Dosh inquiring if it was possibly a b-side to Armchair, he had this to say…

RE: The Water Jet Cilice / self - torture
Body: i have no idea when it will come out, but i suspect it will at some point, cuz it is a great song..... sorry to not be of more help.

peace

martin

I am awaiting a possible copy of the video of the live with vocals version of Self Torture but until then the instrumental Water Jet Cilice will have to hold you over:

Andrew Bird – Water Jet Cilice

buy fingerlings 3 here.

also,

Here’s the new single from his upcoming Armchair Apocrypha:

Andrew Bird – Heretics

1 Comment »

  1. […] You may remember my pursuit of this song from a bit back. I was completely enraptured by it when he performed it live and was eagerly anticipating its release on his then upcoming album Armchair Apocrypha. Unfortunately when the records track listing surfaced, “Self Torture” was nowhere to be found. Not even Andrew Birds drummer Martin Dosh had any idea of its whereabouts, or if it had even been recorded. Well, I now know that it WAS recorded because e-music has the online exclusive release of the track. This track must be heard, it is one of the best new songs I’ve heard him record in years. I’m still unsure of why it wasn’t featured on the album, the only thing I can think of is that it is a NEW recording. It sounds somewhat sparse compared to the tropical grandiose production of the live version of which I have also posted below, but its more delicate qualities do not detract at all from its sound and make for a more intimate listening. […]

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