Augie March

Strange Bird

Every song on Strange Bird is packed with intricate poetry set to lushly ornate music. Sung over a simple, childlike melody, the lines, “There are roses round the edges of the grand property,/ The words ‘Labor, Ardor, Languor’ are its lovely trinity…” from the opening “The Vineyard,” convey songwriter Glenn Richards’ intentions quite succinctly. But his writing is anything but simple. The songs are free of the restrictions of the verse-chorus-verse structure one expects from a pop record, and instead the listener is treated to streams of poetry that run from beginning to end, sans repetition. “This Train Will Be Taking No Passengers” races along to a locomotive melody to where “Pods of wealthy blond gobbets with red-rind eyes/ getting pecked at by the heroin sparrows of the western skies”—sung in perfectly metered tempo that’s bound to raise the hair on the back of your neck. This is an album to savor, linger over and delve into—a literary and musical feast.