Hear Phoebe Bridgers & Andrew Bird's Haunting New Duet
“I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” reimagines the Emily Dickinson poem of the same name.
Phoebe Bridgers and Andrew Bird are a match made in heaven on their new duet, “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain.” The haunting song — soft and ethereal, fitting for the changing season — is a reimagination of the Emily Dickinson poem by the same name.
Bird, whose latest album, Inside Problems, was released this fall, said the song’s lyrics (pulled from the poem itself, which describes a metaphorical funeral) relate back to the themes explored on his latest project.
"I came across this Emily Dickinson poem and found it to be the most vivid description of an inner world I've ever encountered," Bird said. "It became an inspiration for the songs on Inside Problems. Who better to sing it with than Phoebe Bridgers? I sent her a demo and so, here we are. Thanks to Ms. Dickinson's publisher at Harvard University Press for allowing us to use this poem. As I understand, her poems weren't published as she intended them until the 1950s — that is, without the heavy hand of her male editors."
The song’s sparse guitar arrangement lets Bird and Bridgers’ harmonies soar center stage. It’s a ruminative ballad, questioning the inner demons one finds rattling around the corners of your brain late at night. The track itself mirrors the lyrics, with bass lines standing in for the poem’s drums and boots of lead, and gentle whistles and spectral sounds echoing the themes of crossing over to other worlds.
It’s a rare duet for the Grammy-nominated Bird, whose past collaborations include 2016’s “Left Handed Kisses” with Fiona Apple. The visuals for the song, below, are equally somber: