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A Deep Dive Into Andrew Bird's New Song "Underlands"

Album art for Inside Problems by Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird spins existential angst into gold with “Underlands”, from his album Inside Problems (out June 3 on Loma Vista Recordings). Melding the exquisite elements that he is known for – plucked violin, strings, enviable whistling, the feeling of being whisked along the boulevard at night in your own Edward Hopper painting – with an obsession about our insignificance, Bird invites us to bob our heads along to the impending oblivion. Lyrics like “Stars don’t owe you anything / Don’t give a damn about your nation / Feel the slightest obligation / Ooh I can’t get over this moon” convey a sense of twitching discomfort in the midst of all the sonic luxury, accented by a danceable interplay between the drum and guitar scratch through much of the song. Those who had Greek Mythology on their Andrew Bird bingo card get to cash in with a river Styx reference here also, which is a perfect backdrop for this metaphysical subterranean expedition. “Underlands” is an elegant trip piloted by a captain bubbling with anxiety but cloaked in velvet.

Joe Kendrick grew up far off in the woods at in rural Stanfield, NC, where he acquired his first Sony Walkman, listened to both AM and FM radio from Charlotte, went to Nascar races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, attended a small Baptist church, read Rolling Stone, subscribed to cassette clubs, and played one very forgettable season of high school football. From there, Joe studied Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was able to fulfill his dream of being a disc jockey at WXYC. He volunteered at WNCW soon after graduation.