Machine Birds are a sparse and beautiful keyboard outfit from Norway. On "If I," a glowing synthesizer progression pulses like those lonely red lights they put on smoke stacks to warn low-flying aircraft. And it would be easy to see vocalist, Maria Skranes perched up there, alone, bemoaning the terrible counterfactual landscape below. Each lyric in the first verse is rooted in the conditional of the title, lines like, "If I let you know how I feel, would it make a difference?" It all builds to a chorus of the same icy synths, accented with Skranes shimmering and crushing vocal describing the disaster as, "I can't compete with her/you made up your mind a long time ago/that I was never an option." What follows the first chorus is a rich and distended bridge, a middle section nearly meditative enough to lose the initiative of a break up song for a relationship that never was, eventually doubling back to the mournful first conditional idea, "If I," this last time with a layered, Vocoder duet. The final chorus is a killer and the last lyric, "Why can't you choose me?" is a loose rhetorical question, a sigh at the end of a well documented descent. Stream the radio edit below and download the full version here.