Well-known for his eclectic compositions and warm voice, Chicago-native Andrew Bird has become one of the most popular singer-songwriters in indie rock today. While Bird's primary instrument is the violin, he is also skilled with the mandolin, guitar, xylophone, and bass.
Andrew Bird began studying music at an early age and graduated for Northwestern University with a degree in music performance in the mid-'90s. After three marginally successful releases (the latter two with his group Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire)—1996's Music of Hair,1997's Thrills, and Oh! The Grandeur—Bird released his fourth album, The Swimming Hour (2001). The album was a major departure for Andrew Bird and his group, as they moved away from a swing-influenced style and crafted a more chamber-pop, indie-rock sound. The album built Bird's popularity, and, by 2003, the Bowl of Fire was no more.
After a live album and two shorter albums, Bird struck gold with 2005's Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs. The album was a critical favorite and a commercial success. It features one of Bird's most popular songs, "Fake Palindromes," which was named as the 33rd best song of the decade by Pitchfork. He continued his good form with 2007's excellent Armchair Apocryhpa, an album that debuted all the way at #76 on the Billboard Charts—not to shabby for a chamber-pop record on an independent label. His most-recent album, Noble Beast (2009) was also a success.
Throughout his career, Andrew Bird has been a fantastic live act. Especially impressive is his ability to layer his violin lines during the course of a song by using a loop pedal, then playing countermelodies over the freshly laid tracks. His live excellence can be heard on his five concert albums. Bird continues to actively tour and record.