Release Date: Sep 7, 2018
Record label: Merge
Even when his mid-'90s band Archers of Loaf was churning out jumpy and idiosyncratic Pavement-esque guitar pop, Eric Bachmann was developing a more nuanced approach to songwriting and composition. Apart from his moody instrumental recordings, his long-running Crooked Fingers project became a far more refined outlet for his songs than the often immediate payoff of Archers of Loaf. From there Bachmann's output tended toward melancholic Americana and richly produced songs of restlessness and aching, making his evolution a little harder to track as he moved through decades of sad-hearted music.
Eric Bachmann's role as leader of underground alt-rock kings Archers of Loaf and barroom balladeers Crooked Fingers is, it seems, firmly in the past. More recently as a regular collaborator with Neko Case and as a solo artist he's committed to a notably more expansive sound and more accessible tone. Here on his fourth solo outing Bachmann offers a suite of songs that benefit from the rough-hewn power of his vocal, tender arpeggiated guitar lines and gentle lifts of electronica.