Andrew Bird and Phoebe Bridgers join forces to share a haunting reimagination of the Emily Dickinson poem, ‘I felt a Funeral, in my Brain.’ Multiple Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist Bird also announces the new date for his rescheduled London show at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, to take place on the 19th February 2023.
Sparse and spectral, the arrangement pairs chilling, swelling shrieks of strings with the slight strum of guitar, as Bird and Bridgers trade verses and soar in harmony over Dickinson’s words. Recorded this Autumn, the song further explores the mind-numbing thoughts, questions and obsessions that Bird brought to life across his new album, Inside Problems, soundtracking the inner demons that run amok when things get quiet: whistles echo in from a faraway realm, bass lines mirror the poem’s allusions to beating drums and boots of lead, while otherworldly sounds and a ghostly pizzicato transport the track to a liminal space.
“I came across this Emily Dickinson poem and found it to be the most vivid description of an inner world I’ve ever encountered,” says Andrew Bird. “It became an inspiration for the songs on Inside Problems. Who better to sing it with than Phoebe Bridgers? I sent her a demo and so, here we are. Thanks to Ms. Dickinson’s publisher at Harvard University Press for allowing us to use this poem. As I understand, her poems weren’t published as she intended them until the 1950s – that is, without the heavy hand of her male editors.”
Listen to “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” feat. Phoebe Bridgers, out now on Loma Vista Recordings, and watch the visual from Matthew Daniel Siskin below.