Hailed by The New Yorker as “one of the finest, most searching songwriters of the day,” Gabriel Kahane has often approached his work from the vantage point of an observer. But now, for the first time, he’s telling his own story. With Magnificent Bird, his fifth solo LP and second album for Nonesuch Records, Kahane brings to life a trunk of songs written in self-imposed isolation—a full year off the internet—with the help of a dozen colleagues, including Andrew Bird, Chris Thile, Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, whose long-distance contributions were made possible, paradoxically, through the very technology he had shunned.
In October 2020—the final month of his digital hiatus, and a resolutely chaotic period in the United States—he set out to write a song every day. “I wanted to create an aural brain scan at the end of this experiment,” he explains, “and to give myself permission to write about small things, rather than trying to distill the enormity of the moment into grand statements.”
Listen to two of the songs from Magnificent Bird here.
View the digital program here.