I fall in love with some albums the same way I fall in love with people... immediately, with abandon, and with all my heart. And I've got a serious crush on Andrew Bird's 2009 release, Noble Bird.
I've known of the quirky Chicago song-crafter for quite some time, but was most familiar with his early music, as a collaborator with the great Squirrel Nut Zippers and then with his genre-confounding outfit Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire. His solo work is a departure from the old-timey jazzy stuff, and wanders instead to shoegazing indie, but is just as pleasing.
An accomplished classical violinist trained from the age of four, he seems equally at home juggling four instruments and a loop pedal as he is with his trademark astonishingly lovely whistling. He often collaborates with fanciful artists for his album covers and tour posters ~ this one by Diana Sudyka is particularly incredible, and she has prints in her Etsy shop.
A chameleon of a songmaster, Bird's lyrics tend towards the nonsensical, chosen more for poetic aural cartwheels than meaning. Extra points for penning lyrics like this ~ "No peace in the valleys, malarial alleys, where the kittens have pleurisy... Donning our goggles, Valerian ogles, to see microscopically." In this video, he manages to conjure up an amazing maelstrom of swirling sounds by himself, in a church.
On the amazing resource Internet Archive, a simple search for Andrew Bird yields audio from more than a dozen live shows, interviews, and more. I highly recommend pursuing them, and letting Mr. Bird take you on an audio journey.
I mean, the man wears stripey socks in his press photos. How can I not adore him?