Barchords (Universal Republic)

SXSW 2012 Records


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)


Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

More Bahamas
Naked City
Naked City
Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond

Mike Clark-Madison, March 5, 2004

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Phoebe Hunt & the Gatherers
Shanti's Shadow (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, May 26, 2017

Texas Platters
US Weekly
US Weekly (Record Review)

Libby Webster, May 26, 2017

More by Doug Freeman
Texas Platters
The Mastersons
Transient Lullaby (Record Review)

May 26, 2017

If I Could Only Fly: Merle Haggard Covers Blaze Foley
If I Could Only Fly: Merle Haggard Covers Blaze Foley
Country legend was recording an LP of Foley songs when he died

May 4, 2017



AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)