VIDEO PREMIERE: Addi McDaniel Takes Andrew Bird’s “Are You Serious” For A Sly & Soulful Ride

Addi McDaniel, Brooklyn-based singer hailed as “a dynamo with a brass-plated voice” by the LA Times, announced her debut solo album, “After The News,” December 6th. The record is out January 25 via Sylvan Songs. McDaniel is both an extraordinary singer and a gifted interpreter of song, and ‘After The News’ finds her breathing vivid life into a raft of original songs from collaborator Tom Siering, whose material she deftly pairs with covers of tracks by Andrew Bird and Bruce Cockburn to form a broader tale of mortality and acceptance, grief and forgiveness. She points her search inwards, channeling the pain of loss and regret into a transformative work of beauty and strength that blurs the lines between roots, blues, soul, and jazz.

McDaniel revels in the semantic backflips of Andrew Bird’s “Are You Serious” as it toys with the inadequacy of language in the face of our deepest emotions; her soulful rendition debuts today and Parade calls it a “slinky, vintage-tinged song with a self-assured croon accompanied by chill organ, tasty guitar and a retro vibe.”

The 10-song collection is produced by drummer Marco Giovino (Robert Plant, Norah Jones) and finds McDaniel backed by an all-star cast of musicians who thrive on raw spontaneity. ‘After The News’ opens with “I Would Have Written Less,” a sweltering, languid reflection on regret and nostalgia that oscillates between minor noir and major lift. Like much of the album, it required McDaniel to turn herself completely over to her character, to see the world through the eyes of narrator with more days behind than ahead. She wrestles with addiction on the slow-burning “Gave Up Giving Up,” copes with finality on the tender “Forgiving You,” and learns to live with the pain of loss through the steady buildup of “No One Gets Over Anything.” While McDaniel mentally transformed herself for each track, she often recognized large parts of her own personality and experiences in the roles.

McDaniel grew up in a vibrantly musical household in St. Augustine, FL, where she enjoyed a childhood surrounded by instruments and an endless series of impromptu jam sessions. The oldest of four siblings, she was captivated by the songs of Paul Simon, Rufus Wainwright, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, and fell in love with singing and writing her own poetry from an early age. After attending a performing arts high school and studying music and theater in college, McDaniel relocated to New York City to hone her craft. In 2012, she teamed up with virtuoso harpist Jacqueline Kerrod to form the genre-bending duo Addi & Jacq, which would go on to be crowned “Best Emerging Band in New York” by WNYC and perform everywhere from National Sawdust to the Apollo Theatre.

Glide is proud to premiere the official video for “Are You Serious,” (below) a deliciously passionate cut where McDaniel takes Bird’s original and takes it on a maiden flight of melodrama. With such sly and soulful vocals, Addi McDaniel’s 2019 release makes for one of 2019’s more anticipated new recordings and artists.

“Are You Serious” is one of my all-time favorite Andrew Bird songs, says McDaniel. “When I first heard it, I couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks. There is something about this song that I find so endearing and playfully perfect! It just pulls you right in. We had a blast exploring all of the delightful colors in this song while making this video. Like many New Yorkers, I’ve had a long-standing love-hate relationship with this incredible city, and Nick Spanos did a fantastic job of capturing all its wildly contrasting elements- the hardness and the beauty, the chaos and the serenity.”

Photos by Nick Spanos

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