Andrew Bird is a clever clogs. As a child he studied the Suzuki method of music, and it means, like Sufjan Stevens, he’s able to multi-instrumentalise with the best of them. He’s at home with the violin, guitar, piano and all points in between. He also shows on ‘Armchair Apocrypha’ that he’s a virtuoso whistler. But while milk rounds could have been a calling, this album proves that Bird is up there with the kings of US alt.country pop like Lambchop and My Morning Jacket. On ‘Darkmatter’ – a moody, spacey, mid-tempo march, he muses on his very being, asking “Do you know where the soul resides?” Suck on that, James Blunt. ‘Cataracts’ is a mournful campfire song, drowned in violins, and punctuated by a fusillade of sad cowboy whistling. Invigorating.