Anthropocene (/ˈanTHrəpəˌsēn/): relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.
Pop music doesn’t exactly do well with large, unwieldy words not used in casual everyday conversation. American audiences, at least, weren’t clamouring for a grammar lesson in their favourite tunes. Seven Mary Three attempted to educate the masses with their ode to heavy object metaphors, ‘Cumbersome’, as did Local H when they kept it copacetic on their song ‘Bound for the Floor’, both of which were alt-rock hits in the U.S. during the ’90s. But those were flukes from band’s largely considered to be one-hit wonders. Even Nelly Furtado’s ‘Promiscuous’ was pushing the syntactical boundary for some caveman brains.
Good thing, then, that Daniel Bachman is most assuredly not a pop musician, and his latest release ‘Blues in the Anthropocene’ is an ambient sound collage featuring only a lo-fi guitar line and what sounds like someone trying to start their car in the backwoods at two in the morning. Just as we’re starting to settle into the atmosphere, an explosion closes the melodic section of the song, if you want to call it that, and out of the rubble comes a solid minute of feedback and static to close the song proper.
Props to Bachman for building a tense, moody soundscape. If you’re unfamiliar with the Virginian musician, he’s a guitar virtuoso whose usual milieu encompasses blues, country, and folk. Bachman has played with textures in his music before, but it usually serves as a backdrop to the intricate guitar picking that remains at the forefront. In ‘Blues in the Anthropocene’, the guitar takes a backseat to the white noise and unsettling climate that the musician has constructed around a melody that is so lo-fi that it’s hard to tell if it’s a guitar or keyboard. If this is the direction that his new album Axacan is taking, it will be a drastic, and exciting, turn from Bachman.
Check out the audio for ‘Blues in the Anthropocene’. Axacan is set for a May 7th release.