Andrew Bird Announces Holiday Album ‘Hark!’ & Shares John Cale Cover
Andrew Bird prepped a full-length holiday album, Hark!, that follows last year’s release of an EP of the same name. Bird previewed the forthcoming LP, which is due out October 30 via Loma Vista Recordings, by sharing his cover of John Cale’s “Andalucia.”
Hark! features 13 tracks including originals, Bird’s takes on holiday classics and covers of songs by Cale, John Prine and Handsome Family. The album contains the brand new original “Christmas In April,” which is heralded as “perhaps the first COVID-inspired holiday song.” Andrew Bird recorded the track while self-quarantining.
Andrew Bird issued the following statement about 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.
Bird tapped production designer/illustrator/filmmaker Abigail Porter to create an animated video for “Andalucia,” a tune John Cale wrote for inclusion on his 1973 studio album, Paris 1919. Watch the visual for Andrew Bird’s cover of “Andalucia” below:
- Christmas In April
- Oh Holy Night
- Mille Cherubini in Coro
- Night’s Falling
- Christmas is Coming
- White Christmas
- Auld Lang Syne