Watch: Andrew Bird Faces Futility As 'Sisyphus' : All Songs Considered In a new video, the beloved songwriter navigates the underworld with optimistic tenacity.
NPR logo Watch: Andrew Bird Faces Futility As 'Sisyphus'

Watch: Andrew Bird Faces Futility As 'Sisyphus'


According to Greek mythology, the cunning King Sisyphus of Ephyra received the ultimate punishment at the end of his days: damnation and an eternity spent pushing a rock up a mountain side, only to be crushed by its weight each time he reached the top.

Such is the plight of the multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird in a new video released Wednesday. The single is from My Finest Work Yet, Bird's forthcoming —and 12th, for those keeping track— full-length release. Fans of the musician won't be surprised to see him taking inspiration from such an erudite figure; Bird has long showcased an adept ability to pen sharp lyrics and craft instrumentally complex song structures.

In the video, our protagonist struggles not against a boulder, but a crudely carved stone head; Bird scales the hillside with the weight of the world, not to mention his intellect, perched precariously atop his shoulders. Despite its heavy subject matter, the track's angst is offset with buoyant and sonic optimism. Among his many talents, Bird is certainly capable of balance.

My Finest Work Yet is available March 22 on Loma Vista Recordings.