MP3 At 3PM: David Bazan

David Bazan is perhaps the most underappreciated songwriter of our time. Despite having rarely (if ever) missed his mark in nearly 15 years of crafting disarmingly thoughtful musical and lyrical prose, he seems to be perpetually relegated to the outside of critical favor, an underdog whose loyal following would lay in the road for him if he asked that of them. Being content on the outside is fitting in the context of Bazan’s latest effort, Strange Negotiations (out today on Barsuk), however. Over minimal and raw rock instrumentation (think Tom Petty and Fugazi with flashes of Neil Young), the man who’s spent the majority of his career embracing, and then discarding, the evangelical narrative with a poet’s finesse has shifted his focus to “his disappointment in the current state of accelerating American and global social fragmentation,” according to his label. If that sounds overly academic to you, rest assured that Bazan has not written a lyrical white paper in Strange Negotiations. In fact, these songs are just as affecting and human as his former meditations on family, God and the flawed nature of mankind. It’s just that the object of his affection has shifted to the more general concept of the Common Man, who has been duped by some version of the American dream and those “Wolves At The Door” who he portrays so caustically on the single available for download below. In it, Bazan laments the foolishness of his fellow countrymen while lavishing them with love nonetheless. “You’re a goddamn fool,” he sings, “but I love you.”

“Wolves At The Door” (download):

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