Everything Everything have made a welcome return with the beautiful ‘In Birdsong’. The song, produced by John Congleton (Sharon Van Etten, St. Vincent, Future Islands) is the first new material to be aired from the four piece’s upcoming fifth album. Jonathan Higgs says the band didn’t originally plan to release this track this early but then it ‘unexpectedly emerged as the most appropriate song to reappear with. Birdsong has accompanied human life since before we were even human, but in the recent century it has been obscured or pushed out of our lives. In the song I talk about hearing birdsong and knowing we are conscious and alive. With fewer cars and planes, and less human intervention generally, we’ve all been given the opportunity to reconnect with resurgent nature, and where we all are, for this brief moment – In Birdsong.’
Inspired by psychology academic Julian Jaynes’ Bicameral Mind Theory (the idea where at one stage humans had two separate minds; one inside each half of our brains and messages or commands would be delivered by one and received by the other), the track finds Jonathan imagining what it would have been like to have been the first self-aware human. In his trademark gentle falsetto he sings about the wild, the energy in us and observes how ‘There’s something in the white matter’ over slowly building proggy synths and pounding drumbeats. He then goes on to pine about ‘The stench of it, the rendering, the energy, the energy of us’ and hearing ‘Birdsong in reverse’ over an atmospheric and heartbreaking sound that reminded us of The Antlers’ ‘Hospice’.