Photo: Kady Ruth Ashcraft

Matt Bachmann shares his frostbitten cover of Michael Hurley’s outsider folk fave “Wildegeeses”

We’re about a month away from the release of Dream Logic, the new album from Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Matt Bachmann. The new album is a deeply personal one for Bachmann, as was evidenced by the loving lead single “Apple Pie”. Today he gives us a second glimpse in the form of his cover of “Wildegeeses” by Greenwich Village legend Michael Hurley. A cover may not seem like a personal song, but it’s one that Bachmann has had an affinity for for many years, playing it both in his solo shows and as a karaoke version in his performances with Big Eater. He says:

“This is one of my favorite songs of all time. This recording is pretty much that karaoke version I used to perform with a few extra spices. The drums are a loop of “swing drums” I found on YouTube that I recorded to my four-track and slowed down. Almost everything is DI’d on the track. I feel very close to this song.”

When you hear that it’s almost a karaoke version, you might expect Bachmann’s “Wildegeeses” to sounds cheap or cheesy, but nothing could be further from the truth. His love of the song reflects off the icy synths that underlay the track, and the simplistic YouTube-ripped drum loop pushes the glacial song onwards with a gentle caress. Bachmann’s voice is atoned to this chilly atmosphere, his singing barely more than a whisper as he observes “the wind blowin’ from Northwest.” Some atmospheric inflections and subtle harmonies bring breathable depth, but without having to strain or add too many more elements, he pulls us into the mind of this lonely and lovelorn song, to trudge alongside him in the glimmering wilderness.

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