Andrew Bird and Squirrel Nut Zippers founder Jimbo Mathus announced their forthcoming album, These 13. Marking the announcement of their collaborative record, the duo released a new single titled “Sweet Oblivion.”
Bird and Mathus wrote the album by sharing voice memos and went to cut the first half of the record live to analog tape and a single RCA 44 microphone in early 2019. These 13 was complete in early 2020 with the help of producer Mike Viola.
“Musically speaking, Andrew challenged me early on,” Mathus said in a statement. “As I had the deep south rural musical upbringing but had yearned to know more of the Chicago and New York scenes of those early days of American popular music. Bird had schooled himself on that, absorbing the European strains of American music and theater, as well as the Chicago-based indigenous albeit transplanted African American musical heritage. It was a true mutual benefit society and we both pursued those goals to a final conclusion. At some point after Andrew had been on the road as Bowl of Fire, he began mutating his music and creating an entirely new form. In other words, he started to become the artist he needed to be at that time and so did I.”
The duo were bandmates in Squirrel Nut Zippers in the mid-Nineties, where Bird played violin on three of the band’s albums, including the Platinum-selling 1996 record, Hot. Last year, Bird again joined the swing revivalist band on the song “Train on Fire.” Bird released his solo album My Finest Work Yet in 2019, which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album.
“Up until meeting Jimbo, all my musical heroes were dead, Jimbo was anything but and just oozed musicality of a kind I thought was extinct,” Bird said in a statement. “Had I not met Jimbo, who knows, but I think my music would have gone on a much more cerebral, complex trajectory. He is an enigma, a walking contradiction: wild yet refined, worldly yet colloquial. He represents his own branch of the American musical tree. It’s been my dream for years now to make this record with Jimbo. Just guitar, fiddle and our very different voices. I wanted to make sure you can really hear him as if for the first time.”
These 13 is set to release on March 5 via Thirty Tigers. Pre-order These 13 here and watch the duo perform their latest single “Sweet Oblivion” live from Ojai, California below.
These 13 Tracklist
01 Poor Lost Souls
02 Sweet Oblivion
03 Encircle My Love
04 Beat Still My Heart
05 Red Velvet Rope
06 High John
07 Stonewall (1863)
08 Bright Sunny South
09 Bell Witch
10 Dig Up the Hatchet
11 Jack O’ Diamonds
12 Burn the Honky Tonk
13 Three White Horses and a Golden Chain