Andrew Bird has recorded a collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers billed as a “reimagination” of the Emily Dickinson poem “I felt a Funeral in my Brain.” According to Bird (whose latest album, Inside Problems, was released this past summer):
I came across this Emily Dickinson poem and found it to be the most vivid description of an inner world I’ve ever encountered—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.
Bird and Bridgers are an ideal duo for turning this poem into a song: as songwriters they are both masterful scene-setters, and inhabit the characters of their songs with almost eerie presence, as if haunting their own material. Bridgers is particularly suited for the spectral, otherworldly nature of Dickinson’s poem, and when she comes in on the fourth verse—“As all the Heavens were a Bell”—it’s an arresting moment, rich, beautiful, and just a little bit spooky.