American multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Andrew Bird has had a busy year, which is about to ramp up even more, now that the musician has announced that he will be performing a new role on the FX limited series Fargo. In addition, Bird will be releasing “We Are Olympians” featuring the titular track“Olympians,” off of his latest album My Finest Work Yet, alongside two new versions of the song, including a rendition with Madison Cunningham called “The Gotholympians.”
As part of Fargo, Bird will take up the role of Thurman Smutney, a role that was specifically created for him, and which is set to take place in the series’ upcoming fourth season which will star Chris Rock. “I’m flattered and excited to be asked to be in the cast of Fargo. I’m a fan of the show and its smart writing, inspired casting and great acting,” Bird explained regarding the upcoming performance in a press release.
Bird released My Finest Work Yet, earlier this year, where he took the time to explore several cultural and political themes which were influencing the American landscape. This included the 2016 election of the current US President, Donald Trump. and the 2017 “unite the right” Charlottesville rally in North Carolina, where one of the participants of the rally rammed his car into a group of crowded counter-protesters, murdering one woman named Heather Heyer.
“[My Finest Work Yet] was written between the 2016 election and then the rest was written right after [the Unite the Right rally in] Charlottesville, so it’s very much responding to current events,” Bird explained in an interview with Under The Radar Mag. “But I want to do that in a way that’s going to get past the choir. I don’t know if I can change minds, but at least I can hopefully get people talking about it in a different way.”
He went on to describe the amount of liberty he had using the music medium to express these themes, stating in the same interview:
“I still feel like writing a pop song is just incredibly challenging but there’s also a freedom to do whatever you want in those four minutes. Just keep my attention, you know? Don’t lose it. It’s a total playground for ideas. You’re off the hook from being expected to make total sense like a storyteller, filmmaker, or novelist.”
Photo Credit: Alyssa Fried