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Track Premiere: Crane Like the Bird “When I See” feat. Conor Oberst

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Crane Like the Bird may not be a household name (yet), but you’re likely quite familiar with the work of Kyle Crane, who is behind the project. In addition to touring with KCRW favorites Neko Case and M. Ward, he worked on the Oscar winning film Whiplash as a drum double.

There’s plenty of skill and precision to marvel over within the song craft of Crane’s self titled debut, but much more present are its deeply personal messages and feeling of intimacy. He’s assembled a stellar roster to help bring this project to thrilling, vibrant life. This includes James Mercer (The Shins, Broken Bells), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Sabina Sciubba (Brazilian Girls), and the aforementioned M. Ward among other great talents.

“When I See” is the album’s centerpiece, and we have your first opportunity to give it a listen. Or more likely several listens. The heart of the track is a tender, ponderous vocal performance from Conor Oberst. That performance is beautifully accented by pedal steel guitar provided by Daniel Lanois. Crane lost his father at a young age, and you can feel the weight of that experience in a lyric like; “Sometimes I worry that Heaven is just in our minds/A lie to keep our hearts from dying/I hope it’s real… cause I want to see you.” Then there’s the refrain. “When I see your face, will I be older than you?” Devastating in its specificity, which is what makes it so heart-wrenchingly relatable.

Crane Like the Bird is out Friday, January 18th via Crane Like the Bird Records.