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DuJour Album of the Week: Andrew Bird’s “Hands of Glory”

The acoustic charmer proves that Bird is indeed the word

Musician Andrew Bird’s new album, Hands of Glory, found its inspiration extremely close to home: a previous Andrew Bird record. 

Hands of Glory, released this week, features Bird and his band playing entirely acoustically and into one microphone, reworking songs from his last album, Break It Yourself, released earlier this year. It’s a twee concept that could have easily gone off the cute rails, but in the capable hands of Bird and co., this collection of old songs and covers has become something entirely new. His sweet voice and the warmth of the music, which sounds like it would be perfect for a campfire, give Hands the feel of an old favorite even on first listen. (Watch a video for opening track “Three White Horses” below.)

“The past three summers now we’ve had these band get-togethers at my barn in western Illinois,” Bird has said. “They begin with little more pretense than to capture the way we make music together. After a few days sleeping, eating and jamming under one roof, we get increasingly inspired and ambitious about what we’re doing.”   

The ambition is clear and the project—a short but sweet eight songs—is a success. It’s no wonder that Bird will be touring South America in early 2013 on a crowd-sourced tour funded by fans desperate to bring him to their parts. While the songs on Bird’s latest release might not be new, thanks to his expansive talent, they couldn’t be more exciting if they were.