Andrew Bird has announced a new holiday album titled Hark!, which will arrive digitally on Oct. 30 via Loma Vista Recordings and as a vinyl LP on Nov. 13. The 13-song record includes originals, holiday classics and covers of John Cale, John Prine and Handsome Family.
Today, Bird also shared the cover of Cale’s “Andalucia” alongside a video of silhouette animation by designer, illustrator and filmmaker Abigail Portner.
Bird said of Hark!:
Let’s not talk about the dubious motives that might lead an artist to make a holiday record. It’s a complicated relationship many of us have with the holidays and the requisite music we hear. So let’s admit that it’s a utilitarian thing. The music is just one contributing factor to our communal or solitary joy and melancholy. As a musician, it’s an excuse to take a break from writing the next record and indulge in an unapologetically nostalgic exercise. I’ve done my best to find some lesser known gems. A passing reference to wintertime sentiment is all it takes to make the cut on Hark! A mention of snow falling in John Cale’s “Andalucia,” a namecheck of Christmas in John Prine’s “Souvenirs” or as the setting of the drunken fiasco in the Handsome Family’s “So Much Wine,” remade as “Greenwine.”
There’s an original tune I wrote in April during the most disorienting phase of the pandemic, when I couldn’t help but wonder where we’ll be when the holidays come, if we could be together or not. I’ve been writing a lot of songs inspired by this uninspiring predicament. Let’s hope they all become obsolete as soon as possible. Anyway, I hope you enjoy Hark! And that it underscores better times.
This past Sunday, Bird made his debut appearance in the limited series Fargo, and he will continue to star in forthcoming episodes.
On Oct. 10, Bird will livestream a performance of The Mysterious Production of Eggs, in celebration of the album’s 15th Anniversary. This will be the third show of his Performance Now! series, which began in July. You can purchase tickets here.
Watch the “Andalucia” video below and preorder Hark! here. Keep scrolling for the album artwork, created by Bird’s mother Beth Bird, and tracklist. Scroll even further to revisit Andrew Bird and Dianogah’s 2007 Daytrotter sesion.
Hark! Album Art
04. Christmas In April
06. Oh Holy Night
07. Mille Cherubini in Coro
08. Night’s Falling
10. Christmas is Coming
11. White Christmas
13. Auld Lang Syne