The plan seems to have worked. Bazan has succeeded in getting a new batch of songs together, compiling them into a new Barsuk full-length called Strange Negotiations. Ostensibly about delusion, or perhaps more accurately man's ability to embrace self-delusion, the record is ten of the best Bazan tracks he has released to date. He's playing in a trio format (almost always the best way) to keep things Spartan, and more importantly, to keep costs down.
All of these things seem to be paying off. A recent solo house tour was completely sold out and things seem to be generally better personally and professionally for Bazan. There is a new member in the household and high profile opening slots with the likes of Jimmy Eat World. I would expect that once Strange Negotiations gets some steam, there will be a lot of talk about Bazan on year-end lists. Eating Paper is probably my favorite track, although the opening and closing tracks get especially high marks as well. I hear that this was recorded by Bazan in his rehearsal space and mastered by TW Walsh. If that is the case, it would appear that the Bazan production skills are pretty top notch, to boot. It's always something with Bazan. With skills on both sides of the board and a growing distance from the polarizing world of Christian musics, Bazan mid-life crisis of faith may well be the release that garners him mainstream success. Strange negotiations, indeed.
Get Strange Negotiations from Barsuk here.