Jimbo Mathus and Andrew Bird have released a brand new country-folk track and live performance video called “Poor Lost Souls”. The song serves as the second lead single off the duo’s upcoming full-length studio album These 13, which is set for release on Friday, March 5 on the Thirty Tigers record label. The new album is currently available for pre-order and marks the pair’s first time working together in over 20 years.
The video sees Mathus and Bird performing “Poor Lost Souls”on an outdoor stage with Mathus on acoustic guitar and Bird playing violin. The pair power through the emotional folk song with poignant storytelling about the Los Angeles homelessness crisis, both from the point of view of a resident and visitor. Mathus and Bird drive the song forward trading verses with their powerful croons and chord progressions, resulting in a striking, emotional performance.
Mathus and Bird first met at a folk music festival in the summer of 1994 when Bird was working as a medieval fiddler at a midwestern renaissance fair and Mathus had just started his platinum-selling band the Squirrel Nut Zippers, which Bird would eventually join. The duo co-wrote all of the These 13 LP from 2018-2020 by exchanging voice memos recorded live on a single microphone that the two shared. According to a press release, the album is essentially about “the special type of human connection that can survive any distance of time or geography.”
When it comes to “Poor Lost Souls,” Mathus and Bird say, “Look down and see the stars, look up and see the gold. Here’s a broken song for broken times…but there’s hope in it.” These 13 was produced by Mike Viola at Hollywood Sound and Barebones Studio, and the corresponding album artwork was handmade by Jared Spears. “It’s been my dream for years now to make this record with Jimbo,” says Bird. “Just guitar, fiddle and our very different voices.” The new track follows the album’s previous single “Sweet Oblivion”.