I am tired and irritated by what feels like constant exhortations from people who patently don’t know or care about me trying to wring the last drop of something from me, emails with headers like, ‘Hey Robert, can we please reconnect?’ No, no we can’t, I don’t know you and never will. More communications channels often just mean more disappointment.
But there are however softer voices, ones I do want to hear and connect with. Voices that aren’t benefits-led, audience-driven marketing schtick, just voices saying or doing what they really feel, throwing it out there for people to accept if they wish. Daniel’s music came to me some seven years ago via Hands in the Dark Records when they had a micro release of Apparitions at the Kenmore Plantation, and he has been a constant revelation with each new release.
When I was a kid, after lunch on a Sunday I would go to my room and lay in the sun (it was always sunny back then) and listen to my big old Russian-made radio. I would dial the knob across the AM frequencies, picking up random stations, some foreign and unintelligible, others nearer and familiar; scrolling across a world of airwaves, glancing blows with the exotic and mundane, the weird and the wonderful , the comforting and the homely. The Morning Star takes me back to that feeling, one I had long forgotten, a feeling that is itself warm and reassuring in these often bleak and unsettling times.
To be producing such music at such a relatively tender age is an amazing thing, this suite of music is not a ‘difficult’ listen but it certainly is one that demands your attention, it is an album that you need to approach with ears and heart wide open. Be prepared to embrace a collection of intimate and profound playing, field recordings, passing vehicles, and unexpected sounds, be prepared to be immersed, enveloped and held by this music that seems to reach much deeper than just your ears.
More complex than previous work, it is set of astonishingly confident and accomplished composing and playing. Echoes and snippets of music and themes from around the globe combine with a heart that is so unmistakably of that deep American folk tradition and together they produce something at once modern and of today but with a golden thread back to the musical founding masters.
The Morning Star demands repeated listening for without it only a fraction of its wonder will be revealed. Available through the ever-wonderful Three Lobed Recordings Bandcamp site, or in the UK via the equally wonderful Norman Records, Daniel Bachman has produced undoubtedly one of the most significant and remarkable records of the year.
Photo Credit: Greta Svalberg