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Andrew Bird on “words as instruments”

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The troubadour recently spoke with NPR’s Melissa Block about lyrics, textures and his new album, Noble Beast.

The way I work, I’m not a confessional singer-songwriter,” Bird says. “I don’t write poetry and then strum some chords and then fit the words on top of the chords. I start with a very distinct melody, so my options… If one thing is fixed and then the words then have to then conform to the fixed melodies, then it’s like cracking codes. It’s like trying to go through a number of options of things that [will] just be exactly the right word.

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