The delicate ballad, titled “Manifest,” reads in part as an ode to the nail-biting anxiety we’ve all experienced that anything good we’ve acquired is about to be swept right out from under our feet. Bird has a knack for transporting his listeners to the edge of rippling riversides and Chicago sidewalks on brisk evenings, weaving together hypnotic strings and entrancing loops of delicate, symphonic goodness peppered with rock, pop, folk, blues and swing influences. Sporting enchanting violin work and, in classic Bird fashion, a bit of whistling, “Manifest” does the same, weaving together an honest confession about fearing the unknown.
“I’m coming to the edge of the widest canyon,” Bird begins. Then, over chiming piano and soft guitar, “I’m starting to question my manifest destiny, my claim to this frontier / I’m coming to the brink of a great disaster … ” We’ve all been there—in fact, you might say we’re there now.
Postpone your looming identity crisis by listening to the song below, along with a 2007 Bird performance from the Paste archives.