Daniel Bachman – “Coronach”
Last year, one of the last live performances I saw before the arrival of the pandemic was Daniel Bachman, the fingerpicking guitar wizard, in my friend Blair’s living room. This wasn’t even a DIY house show; it was just Blair’s housewarming party, and everyone sat on the floor to hear Bachman pull these amazing, bewitching instrumental reveries out of his acoustic guitar. It’s hypnotic, private music that works weirdly well in a group-hang setting. This spring, Bachman will release another double album of those compositions.
Bachman, who is based in Virginia, has been making folk-inspired instrumental pieces for years, and I remember writing about his gorgeous self-titled album on the same day that America elected Donald Trump president. Three years ago, Bachman released The Morning Star, a double album of ominous instrumental pieces. This spring, he’ll follow that one with another double LP called Axacan.
On Axacan, Bachman combines his evocative, haunted solo arrangements with field recordings of things like church bells, radio broadcasts, and frog chirps. Lead single “Coronach” is a nine-minute track that starts out quiet and meditative and builds to a sense of slashing, violent catharsis before easing back into contemplation. It’s a powerful piece of music, and you can hear it below.
Axacan is out 5/7 on Three Lobed Recordings.