Photo: Kady Ruth Ashcraft

Matt Bachmann shares a tale of memory and regret in “My Dad and His Boat”

Matt Bachmann aka Pachanga aka Big Eater (and also a touring member of Mega Bog and Hand Habits) is releasing his new album Dream Logic this Friday, June 18. Recently we heard his cover of Michael Hurley’s “Wildegeeses”, and before that a tribute to his late father in “Apple Pie”. Ahead of the new album’s release, Bachmann has shared a final single, which is another tribute to his father, from the angle of a story told by his grandmother. Bachmann says:

“I really loved listening to her repeat these stories and hearing how they stayed the same and how the stories changed… On my last day with her, we were sitting on the beach when we spotted this sailboat. The sailboat sparked a memory for her of my dad and a boat that he owned as a child and how he used to sail all the time. Every time she saw the boat as we sat on the beach, she’d tell this story about my dad sailing and by the end of the afternoon, she had probably told it to me ten times. Hearing this story over and over and not knowing if it was true brought on this deep sadness of how little I know about my dad outside of his role as a father – how I’d only known him as a child and adolescent and never got the chance to relate to him as an adult; how little of his history I was aware of.”

In “My Dad and His Boat”, Bachmann simultaneously animates the difficulty of his grandmother’s aged mind and his regret at losing his father. A slowed-down beat makes us feel the great distance that she’s searching back to uncover this long-forgotten memory, while his words are treated to give them a slovenly feel of immovable sadness at the loss of his father – “so many things I don’t know,” he laments. Beneath all this, a glistening current of synth seems to mirror the central memory of Bachmann’s father out sailing on his own, sliding across the imagined sea with sheer grace and freedom. A song that seems to exist in several planes of memory at once, “My Dad and His Boat” is a deeply moving and involving song that lucidly pulls us into Bachmann’s family history.

Listen to “My Dad and His Boat” below or find it on streaming platforms.

Matt Bachmann’s new album Dream Logic is out on June 18 via Orindal/We Be Friends (pre-order from Bandcamp).