In the last decade Daniel Bachman has seamlessly transitioned from wunderkind to a beacon of experimental guitar. Emerging from the specter of Jack Rose, James Blackshaw, and Robbie Basho allusions, the Virginian guitarist has begun to carve sounds out of the guitar, finding an ache that rings between the strings — a resonant frequency for a broken soul. For his latest LP he uses that gift to act as a conduit for the collective grief of a nation frozen in amber and paralyzed by fear and doubt. On “Coronach” Bachman concocts what he calls “a type of ‘funeral dirge.’ This tune is my own lament for lives lost to COVID 19,” he reflects, “and emotions related to the failings of western society in handling a pandemic. It’s pretty literal and I hope it comes across in the resonance of the music.”
Like a great deal of the upcoming Axacan, the song both lingers in the quietude that seems almost ghostly and, concurrently, the moments that are bombarded with more sensory input than we can take. The song creeps in with uncertainty and a dazed countenance, but as it peaks, the dizziness is palpable. The flurry of strings buzz like bees, too many to comprehend and then we’re left with that ache once more before the song fades. Bachman nails the collective crush of a world without air and the fishbowl frustrations of those peering from the inside out. The new LP enters the already sterling lineup of Three Lobed’s 20th anniversary series and lands at the label on May 7th.
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