Andrew Bird‘s new album might be titled Are You Serious and yes, it comes out April 1, but his just released duet with Fiona Apple from the LP has nothing to do with April Fools’ tomfoolery. “Left Handed Kisses” is an immaculately produced piece of chamber pop with meditative, meta lyrics, and it marks the first new Fiona song since she did the opening theme for the TV show The Affair in 2014.
“My inclination was to write a song about why I can’t write a simple love song,” Bird said of “Left Handed Kisses” in a press release. “The song began as an internal dialogue. At first it was just my voice. Then another voice came creeping in and I thought ‘this should be a duet if I can find the right person.’ I needed to find someone really indicting. She was totally committed. The session was a long whiskey-fueled night — unhinged, for sure. All worth it, of course. I can’t write simple love songs. People are complex.”
Perhaps we can blame the “whiskey-fueled night” for Bird’s repeated incorrect use of the phrase “begs the question” in this song (the frequently misused idiom refers to circular reasoning, i.e., assuming the conclusion of an argument in the premise of the argument; it doesn’t mean “brings up the question”). But hey, if a guy as literate as Bird is misusing it, maybe it’s time the definition change.