Only Eric Bachmann could make rage over the Trump era’s alienating 24-hour-a-day mind-fuck seem elegiac.
His new, one-off single, “Misinformation Age,” out yesterday via Merge for $1 on Bandcamp and also available on streaming platforms, is a bruising missive on the information saturation of the 2010s. And it’s all set to glitchy percussion and overpoweringly melancholic piano.
“It’s over 24 hours every single day/ Information age, information age,” the former Archers of Loaf front-man sings, his voice quivering like an indie Mark Knopfler. “See the blood on the floor, where the money is made/ Information age, information age.”
Bachmann, who released the single along with a more politically barbed statement to “Vote the bastards out!,” keeps the proceedings fairly generic, not resorting to tropes about impeachment or whatever witch-hunt Trump is alleging this week, which would age it (eventually?) prematurely. Instead, he laments on the effects on real people of Trump’s Tweet-storms and the media’s intense scrutiny of the madness; “I’m gonna suffocate/ We’re gonna suffocate,” he moans at one point.
This is decidedly more anti-authoritarian than it is anti-Trump, and lines like “Paid the guards, paid ‘em off but we’re still not safe” have a Kafkaesque morbidity to them. But, just in case you’re wondering if Bachmann is railing against faceless (or less specified) forces, he does make things a little cleared by whipping out lines like “The guy in a suit selling fear and hate to keep his money safe,” an unmistakable nod to the current occupant of the House of Whiteness.
The music is, often, at the mercy of the message here but it’s still alarmingly resonant, with the kind of textural depth that made some of Bachmann’s previous outings – I’m thinking 2018’s solo No Recover as much as 1996’s Archers of Loaf LP All The Nation’s Airports – so riveting in the first place. If only all the nation’s singer-songwriters were this brave. Worth the $1, that’s for sure.