Bahamas

Barchords (Universal Republic)

SXSW 2012 Records

Bahamas

Barchords (Universal Republic)

Afie Jurvanen (aka Bahamas) revels in laconic and languid bittersweet, part tongue-in-cheek, part dead-serious desperation. The charm lies in not knowing exactly from which perspective he's driving, which made the Toronto songwriter's debut, Pink Strat, one of last year's undervalued gems. Barchords wrangles a similar ambivalence, with slightly more ambition in arrangement while still remaining understated. The easy lope of opener "Lost in the Light" sets the casual mood with choral swells in defiance of heartbreak, while "Caught Me Thinking" dances against the blues. "Okay, Alright, I'm Alive" and "Any Other Way" saunter with an upbeat M. Ward vibe, but in between "Never Again," "Overjoyed," and "I Got You Babe" are beautifully bleak. Jurvanen's chiming guitar tones shimmer and strafe throughout, especially scouring on "Your Sweet Touch" and subtly picked on "Montreal" and "Time and Time Again." Barchords plays as the rare album that simultaneously lifts and pummels. (Wed., 11:30pm, St. David's Bethell Hall)

***.5

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Thursday Interview
Thursday Interview

Nina Hernandez, March 20, 2015

Thursday Picks & Sleepers
Thursday Picks & Sleepers
SXSW Thursday handicapping by the blurb

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Light'n Up (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, June 14, 2019

The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

More by Doug Freeman
Looking Back on 15 Years of the Townes Van Zandt Documentary
Looking Back on 15 Years of the Townes Van Zandt Documentary
Producer/Director Margaret Brown revisits her movie

June 14, 2019

Texas Platters
Walker Lukens
Adult (Record Review)

June 14, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Bahamas

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle