Beer for the Ear – “Halfway between laid-back and introspective, this album will have a devoted following of sensitive slackers taking in every aspect.”
In the winter of 2014, Matt Bachmann left Washington state. After a Chicago childhood and seven years spent on the west coast, including time spent playing bass with indie pop mainstays iji and Mega Bog, he packed his nearly twenty-year-old Ford Explorer and drove from Seattle to New York. In the months that followed, a long-term relationship came to an end and his future looked uncertain. As he settled into his new bedroom in Crown Heights, he embarked on his own internal journey, and the songs of In Between revealed themselves.
Big Eater began as a solo project in Seattle, where Bachmann recorded raucous, extraverted songs inspired by singing at the city’s most beloved karaoke vortex, Bush Garden, and teaching music to children; in Brooklyn, the project turned far more meditative. Inspired in equal parts by Yo La Tengo’s …And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out and lifetime’s worth of admiration for Neil Young, his songs are the sound of the process of processing, East Coast humidity and West Coast twilight, freakouts in miniature.
Across the album, Bachmann juxtaposes these feelings at rapid-fire speed, moving from spare pieces played entirely by himself to feedback-laden songs augmented by drummers Derek Baron and James Krivchenia, saxophonist Lucas Ellman, and singer Erin Birgy (of Mega Bog), who help render his universe in vivid detail. At the center of all of it is Bachmann’s voice, a trembling tenor that anchors the balmy “Lazy Days,” the near-ambient “She Belongs To No One,” which unravels itself in a wall of percussive loops and electronics, and the bedroom dance-pop at the heart of “Long Summer Nights,” the coda of which rides an unrelenting bassline into uneasy release.
To bring things full-circle, Seattle’s Help Yourself Records will be releasing In Between on cassette on October 30, 2015.