On Election Day 2016, I spent the day with the gorgeous self-titled album from the Virginia-based acoustic-guitar virtuoso Daniel Bachman, a collection of instrumentals that turned folk-music melodies into deep, zoned-out fugues. The idea was that I would sooth my own mounting stress with this deeply peaceful, contemplative music. It worked. For a few hours, anyway. I haven’t gone back to that album, for obvious trauma-related reasons, but it really was gorgeous, and it really did the trick until the whole world fell down around us.
This summer, Bachman will follow up that self-titled album with a new one called The Morning Star. It’ll be his first-ever double album. First single “New Moon” is nearly 14 minutes long, and it’s got Bachman playing, in soft and meandering ways, over an organ drone and field-recording cicada sounds. It’s long, but you might not notice, since Bachman has a near-magical ability to suspend time.
If you’ve seen Bachman live, you already know that it’s a weirdly ritualistic experience. You sit cross-legged on the floor, or you find a wall to lean against, and you watch this solitary blonde guy sitting there, never looking up, unfurling these endless melodies from his instrument. Listening to “New Moon” feels a lot like that. Check it out below.
The Morning Star is out 7/27 on Three Lobed Recordings.