Holy crap, I love this song something fierce (*sucks on teeth*). I mean, it’s lower-lip-biting good. Indie-rock royalty Andrew Bird released this track in November 2018, but it sailed under my radar until now. Dammit, I could have been loving on this for two months now!
No matter. This song oozes class…and craftsmanship…and intent. You don’t so much listen as you sink into it before it moves along its winding, gentle current. A glittering piano leads off to start and then a hushed snare pattern ushers in a classic, timeless, jazz-age throwback vibe anchored by a steady, unhurried beat and hazy rhythm section. The track changes moods along the way — breaking into a foot-stomping chorus — but it always returns to the original delicious flow.
It’s all just so, so enchanting.
Enchanting enough, frankly, to distract from the serious angst Andrew Bird is expressing in his lyrics.
“I know it’s hard to be an optimist / When you trust least the ones who claim to have the answers / It’s an uncivil war… / Bloodless for now…. /
Well, the best lack all conviction / And the worst keep sharpening their claws / They’re peddling in their dark fictions / While what’s left of us, well, we just “hmmm” and we “haw.”
And, there’s more, from the caption that accompanied the official music video for the song.
“We find ourselves in a cold civil war. Everyone is playing their part too well. Certain actors are reaping power and wealth from divisiveness. Echoes of the Spanish civil war when fascists and clergy win because they put up a united front against the individualistic and principled (yet scattered) left. We can turn this ship around but need to step back and be honest with ourselves about what’s happening while it’s still relatively bloodless.”
Some serious shit. It certainly deepens the song and makes it that much more rich and weighty. However, taking nothing away from the message of the lyrics, it’s just a killer listen on its own.
Bloodless is the lead single off Bird’s latest album My Finest Work Yet, due out March 22.