Later this month brings the release of When We are Inhuman, the new collaborative album from Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, aka Will Oldham, The National’s Bryce Dessner, and contemporary classical ensemble Eighth Blackbird. The eight-track collection features reworked versions of Oldham originals as well as new entries in Dessner’s ongoing Murder Ballades series. As a second look at the LP, an updated take on Oldham’s “One with the Birds” has been revealed.
Arranged by Eighth Blackbird pianist Lisa Kaplan, this orchestral rendition is at turns sweet and stirring. “We used the birdcalls of all the different birds named in the song,” Kaplan explained in a statement, “and the extended piano intro was inspired by my friend Thomas Bartlett whom I had seen perform with The Gloaming just before making this arrangement.”
Dessner previously praised Oldham’s legacy and catalog. “I think of Will’s songs as the closest thing we have now to classic, traditional folk music,” he said. “I imagine people will still be singing them in 300 years.”
Hear the new version of “One with the Birds” below.
When We are Inhuman arrives August 30th through Dessner and Justin Vernon’s 37d03d label imprint. For more of the record, revisit new reimagining of “Beast for Thee”.