Northern Californian singer-songwriter, Eric Anders, and southern Californian guitarist-composer, Mark O’Bitz, will release their twelve-song concept album, American Bardo, on July 31st.
American Bardo was recorded, produced, and mixed by Mike Butler of San Diego. All the songs were written by Eric and Mark and inspired by George Saunders’ Mann-Booker-Prize-winning novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. All the songs on American Bardo are what Eric calls “readings” related to one or more of the characters in the novel.
American Bardo will be Eric’s eighth full-length album and the duo’s third full-length album. Eric got into writing and recording songs in the early 2000s when he met Mark at one of Mark’s shows and the two decided to collaborate on music.
Eric then tried to make up for lost time by releasing three critically-acclaimed solo releases in four years: Not At One (2003), Songs for Wayward Days (2004), More Regrets (2005), and Tethered to the Ground (2006).
In 2007, the duo’s song “So Wrong” from Tethered to the Ground was used in the Michael Schroeder film, Man in the Chair, starring Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer. The song “Big World Abide” from Tethered to the Ground was used in TV shows: the Dutch soap opera Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden, and the Courtney Cox TV show, Dirt.
Eric wrote the majority of the songs on these early releases with Mark and this would hold true for his 2011 solo release, Remains In Me, his “best of Eric Anders” retrospective Big World Abide in 2016, and his anti-Trump album Eleven Nine in 2017.
As a duo, Eric and Mark would release Of All These Things in 2018 (their debut release as a duo), Ghosts To Ancestors in 2019, and now American Bardo in 2020. They will also release their four-song EP, This Mortal Farce, on October 30th.
Today Glide is offering an exclusive premiere of Mark and Eric’s tune “Bury Me,” a standout on the new album. The dark, haunting tale is brought to life with sparse yet layered orchestration from delicate guitar picking and dramatic strings. Working in subtle touches from reverb-laced electric guitar and soft bass lines, the duo manages to create a mood that feels both mournful and hopeful. Ultimately, this is a stirring work of gothic folk that lingers in your mind long after listening.