Fall is officially here, and that means Christmas is right on its heels, whether you like it or not. To get you into the spirit, Andrew Bird has announced announce his new holiday album, Hark!, which is due out October 30th via Loma Vista. It follows the Fargo star’s 2019 full-length My Finest Work Yet.
Hark! is an open-ended album for the holidays featuring original tracks, reinterpreted classics, and a handful of cover songs — John Cale’s “Andalucia”, John Prine’s “Souvenirs”, and the Handsome Family’s “So Much Wine” remade as “Greenwine” — that build upon Bird’s 2019 EP of the same name. It spans 13 tracks in total and even includes a COVID-inspired number called “Christmas in April” that the iconic whistler wrote during quarantine.
“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,” said Bird in a statement. “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!”
To preview the album, Bird has shared his cover of John Cale’s “Andalucia”. It’s a beautiful, minimalist, quiet number that relies more on background vocal coos than it does Bird’s own gently plucked violin. There to bring it to life is a magical shadowbox-like music video that brings construction-paper cutouts to life. Watch it below.
Pre-orders for Hark! are currently ongoing (the physical version of the album will be released on November 13th). Check out the album artwork (which he collaborated on with his mother!) and full tracklist after the jump.
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