Andrew Bird has returned with his first new song of 2022, titled “Atomized.” Stream the thought-provoking track below.
Recorded live by Bird with his four-piece band comprised of bassist Alan Hampton, drummer Abe Rounds, and guitarist-producer Mike Viola, “Atomized” is of course highlighted by Bird’s violin: deftly switching between finger-plucking and extended runs, his playing is the backbone of the single.
On the track, Bird gives his take on the effects of social alienation upon one’s self. “May you please start making your apologies/ Blaming technology,” he sings. “Here’s what I say to them: What is your point/ Is each of us an island or more like Finland/ Here’s what I say to them: Things fall apart.”
Furthering his point, Bird’s mind and body start operating separately in the surreal black-and-white video, which is directed by Matthew Daniel Siskin. Watch it below.
While creating “Atomized,” Bird was inspired by Joan Didion, who wrote in 1967 that she “had dealt directly and flatly with the evidence of atomization, the proof that things fall apart.” In a statement, Bird explained, “Didion was updating W.B. Yeats for the fractious ’60s. This song takes it to the pixelated present where it’s not just society that is getting atomized but the self that is being broken apart and scattered.”
Bird’s last proper studio album was 2019’s My Finest Work Yet. Since then, he’s released the 2020 holiday album Hark! and last year’s These 13 with his former Squirrel Nut Zippers bandmate Jimbo Mathus.
This summer, Bird is headed out on a co-headlining trek with Iron & Wine. Titled the “Outside Problems Tour,” it will take them across the US, with Allison Russell and Meshell Ndegeocello trading off as openers. The jaunt also marks Bird’s first full-band tour in nearly three years. Pick up your tickets now via Ticketmaster.