The music of Seattle singer-songwriter David Bazan has always had a certain pensiveness to it, due in large part to the Big Themes he tackles lyrically. He first emerged in the '90s as the driving force behind Pedro the Lion, playing all of the instruments while writing lyrics rooted in the corrosive effects of capitalism and his Christian upbringing. After Pedro's breakup and a brief stint with the band Headphones, Bazan emerged as a solo artist in 2006 with the Fewer Moving Parts
EP. For new release Blanco
, his first album in five years, he pieced together some of the most dynamic instrumentation of his career, resulting in bright synth melodies and propulsive drums. At the album's quieter moments, the 40-year-old shows he's still in touch with his slowcore roots. Blanco
showcases Bazan's ever-deepening lyrical perspective as it sheds light on the psyche of a musician on the road. With Laura Gibson.