Wednesday, 2 April 2003

Weather Systems, by Andrew Bird

1 First Song 4:19
2 I 3:13
3 Lull 5:09
4 Action/Adventure 4:04
5 (Untitled Instrumental 1) 1:36
6 Skin 2:53
7 Weather Systems 6:31
8 Don't Be Scared 3:40
9 (Untitled Instrumental 2) 5:10

Weather Systems marks the start of the solo Bird, free of collaborative names of his previous works (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Bowl of Fire). It's a stripped down production, a couple of guitars and some sparce drums. But then there's Andrew Bird's multi-tracked violin, bowed, strummed and plucked, his whistling, and his handsome voice.

    The record kicks off gently with the appropriately named 'First Song', a seemingly simple folk ballad in waltz time, just a violin, an acoustic guitar, and their respective voices (Nora O'Connor.)
    With an electric guitar and Bird's plucked violin motif the CD gets a harder edge with 'I'. It all sounds a bit grim to me, not one of my favourites.
    Luckily the downer is short-lived with the gentle driving rhythm and effortless harmonies of 'Lull'. I like the witty navel-gazing lyrics:
being alone it can be quite romantic
like jacques cousteau underneath the atlantic
a fantastic voyage to parts unknown
going to depths where the sun’s never shone
and i fascinate myself when i’m alone
i’m rambling on rather self consciously
while i’m stirring these condiments into my tea
and i think i’m so lame
i bet i think this song’s about me
don’t i don’t i don’t i ?
i’m in a lull

(to be continued)