Manchester Orchestra today released “Bed Head (Acoustic),” a stunning, stripped-back rendition of their sweeping song from the Atlanta band’s critically acclaimed new album The Million Masks of God (Loma Vista Recordings). Performed by lead songwriters Andy Hull on guitar and Robert McDowell on piano (watch them perform it here), the acoustic track arrives as “Bed Head”—which has seen over 5 million streams globally—makes further leaps at radio: this week charting at #3 at AAA and #23 at Alternative charts.
The new acoustic version continues Manchester Orchestra’s triumphant run around the April 30th release of The Million Masks of God, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Alternative and Vinyl charts, at #3 on the Top Current Album Sales and Top Rock Albums chart, and at #30 on the Top 200. The band—Hull, McDowell, Tim Very, and Andy Prince, together with touring member Brooks Tipton—has performed a blistering rendition of “Bed Head” for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert #PlayAtHome series as well as three songs on CBS This Morning: Saturday Sessions, while also earning career-high praise from outlets including Stereogum, NPR Music (All Songs Considered), Uproxx, SPIN, American Songwriter, and more, including a guest spot on Comedy Bang Bang’s 12th anniversary special.
Produced by Manchester Orchestra’s lead songwriting duo of Hull and McDowell, Catherine Marks (PJ Harvey, The Killers) and Ethan Gruska (Phoebe Bridgers), The Million Masks Of God presents an even grander scale of the epic and re-focused approach to record-making that the band has forged in recent years. Their sixth album finds the band relentlessly pushing themselves to create a work that breaks beyond the scope and limits of every previous release in an effort to create their most towering achievement to date, all while sorting through the aftermath of a devastating loss.
Manchester Orchestra approached Masks with the intention of creating tightly-woven “movie albums” designed to be listened to in sequence and in a single sitting, with the songs working together to tell a bold, long-form narrative. The album explores the loose story of a man’s encounter with the angel of death as he’s shown various scenes from his life in a snapshot-style assemblage. Some moments he witnesses are good, some are bad, some difficult, some commendable—in other words, they depict an entirely normal life. Ultimately, The Million Masks of God is a compelling, heady, and profound look at the impact a person’s life has on others.