Crooked Fingers frontman Eric Bachmann will release his first solo album, “To the Races,” Aug. 22 via Saddle Creek. Bachmann wrote the material for the 10-song set last summer while voluntarily living in his van for two months. The recording session only lasted six days, with a majority of it taking place in a hotel at North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
“It was a little difficult at times to track because the ocean would howl and roar so loud that sometimes I just couldn’t record. I know it sounds cool, perhaps, to have thunder and howling wind and crashing waves leaking through the microphones, but it would have been too much,” Bachmann tells Billboard.com. “So I had to wait for the quiet, which when it came, was real nice.”
Historically, Bachmann has always fronted groups, from 1990s college rock legends Archers Of Loaf to the more recent country-tinged Crooked Fingers. So why record mostly solo this time around?
“In recent years, Crooked Fingers has become more of a band,” Bachmann says. “This record is just me with a guitar and some piano. There is some violin played by Tom Hagerman of Devotchka, and Miranda Brown performs some ghost vocals, but it seemed appropriate to call it by my name, as it wasn’t really a collaboration.”
“I remember having a real clear mind when I was writing because I was living in my van at the time and have a rule that if I live in the van I’m not allowed to drink, for a number of reasons,” he continues. “I remember feeling really good and free, without any burdens or major responsibilities, and I remember feeling more lonesome than I would have liked, which wasn’t so good. I think maybe those two things poke their heads out and dance a lot both together and separately through a few, if not all, of the songs.”
Bachmann is scheduled to spend September on the road with singer-songwriter Richard Buckner.
Here is the track listing for “To the Races”:
“To the Races”
“Liars and Thieves”
“So Long, Savannah”