Song of the Day: David Bazan - Both Hands (Over My Eyes)

Local Music, Song of the Day
06/10/2016
Janice Headley
photo by Charina Pitzel

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Both Hands (Over My Eyes)” by David Bazan from his 2016 album, Blanco, on Barsuk Records.

David Bazan - Both Hands (Over My Eyes) (MP3)

Seattle singer/songwriter stalwart David Bazan is looking forward, by looking back. For his third solo album, Blanco, he returns to the synth-heavy sounds of his mid-2000s project Headphones. An erratic electronic beat stumbles and falls as each keyboard stroke echoes behind his familiar voice on today's Song of the Day. Woozy waves of synths are punctuated by random bleeps and bloops, like a drunken version of The Postal Service. After years of leaning on his guitar, it's a refreshing return to form of Headphones' self-titled 2005 debut, the lone album in that group's discography.

What hasn't changed is Bazan's commitment to lyrical authenticity. Over the past two decades of his career, from Pedro the Lion to his solo work, he has consistently made himself vulnerable through his songs, sharing everything from his struggle with alcoholism to the loss of his religious faith. Blanco explores his midlife insecurities as a father, husband, friend. In "Both Hands (Over My Eyes)," he addresses his tendency to hide from problems, admitting to himself in his signature baritone, "I understand I can’t sweat/ What mystery hides."

David Bazan is playing tonight in Seattle at the Neptune Theatre. He'll then play 46 additional shows around the country, so be sure to check out his website and Facebook page for all those dates. Bazan was just in the KEXP studios earlier this week, with a truly impressive electronic set-up. Video from that session will be produced soon, but in the meantime, watch a rendition with just guitar and voice, performed during KEXP's Grand Opening back in April.

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