Armchair Apocrypha is American singer-songwriter Andrew Bird's fourth studio album and his third post-Bowl of Fire album. The album features more electric guitars, a change from the more acoustic-oriented Eggs, though the songs are similar in character if slightly more straightforward.
"Simple X" is sampled from the song "Simple Exercises" by collaborator Dosh, off his solo album, Pure Trash. Lyrics, additional instrumentation and structure are provided by Bird.
An earlier version of "Imitosis," called "I" (also called "Capital I" live) appears on his 2003 album Weather Systems.
The song "Darkmatter" contains the same lyrics as the song "Sweetbreads", which can be found on the live EPFingerlings 1.
Both bonus tracks also evolved from previous songs: "Sick of Elephants" was originally known as "Sycophantitis" and "Self-Torture" adds lyrics and incorporates the melody from the instrumental "The Water Jet Cilice" from Fingerlings 3. Haley Bonar, who opened some shows on Bird's tour, sings background vocals on four songs.
In an interview with The A.V. Club, Bird mentioned that melodies are easier for him to write than lyrics. He was fascinated with the Scythians in 8th grade, so he decided to challenge himself to write a song about them as a way to jump-start his songwriting process.