Fresh off the release of a Greek mythology-inspired album, Illinois native Andrew Bird is visiting Athens this month for this year’s Summer Nostos Festival.
An indie-rock instrumentalist, Bird is widely loved for his innovative loop work, violin playing and, most importantly, his whistling. His latest album, “My Finest Work Yet,” is the first in the musician’s repertoire with an overt political message.
“It was written between the 2016 election and Charlottesville,” the prolific musician told KCRW earlier this year. “I was trying to figure out a way to step back and look at everything that’s going on and look at how we’re caught in this sort of death spiral.”
“My Finest Work Yet” brings to light the question of politics’ place in art in today’s especially divided social environment. “Sisyphus,” the first song on the 10-track album, is an ode to humans’ addiction to their own suffering. Accompanied by wandering vocals and piano, this indie number straddles the line between goofiness and honest lyricism as Bird sings, “I’d rather fail like a mortal than flail like a god.” The video features Bird wearing a stone on his head and struggling to climb a mountain.
Bird has performed in countless prestigious venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and has worked with visual artists and scientists to communicate music in new mediums. “My Finest Work Yet” is Bird’s 12th full-length album.
The Summer Nostos Festival lineup also features global artists Local Natives, Neneh Cherry, Balthazar and many more.
Bird will take to the Great Lawn stage at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center on June 24 at 11 p.m. Admission is free. For additional details, visit snfestival.org.