Craig Bidiman may use the moniker, Another Musician, but it would be difficult to find an artist who makes similar music. His largely acoustic, spoken-word EP “Farewell” is a tribute to his father, Orrin Wayne Bidiman, and it provides an intimate and complete portrait of grief. In the opening lines of Farewell, he begins: “You know, my dad and I had a very interesting relationship. When he adopted me, they were well beyond their years of truly needing to take in another child/so I’ve always felt that my inclusion in their family was some sort of miracle.” In the EP’s accompanying zine, Bidiman reveals that he considered putting this track at the end of the release, but after recording, it felt like a better beginning. In a way, it does feel like an introduction, as the beginning of Bidiman’s story is crucial to constructing the narrative of the album.
While “Farewell” is a celebration of his father’s life, the rest of the release deals with the loss. On “Active Ghosts”, he reflects on everything that his father gave him, and the song is supposed to be a way to thank him and process his father’s role in his own life. It also deals with denial, and how losing someone is such an enormous emotional experience it can’t be processed all at once. “Bastard Son” similarly tackles regrets, and with the force of the vocals and heavily synthesized background, it’s one of the release’s most powerful moments.
It’s a rich lyrical narrative that Bidiman draws over these tracks, but the sound is equally thoughtful. The EP is an interesting exploration of how instrumental music and verbal storytelling can interact with each other. For example, on the opening track, the acoustic guitar fits the his reminiscing, but at the end, once he’s done speaking, it turns into something more chaotic. It almost mirrors a dive into a more dense emotional space. Bidiman is an expert at refracting emotions through the inflection of his words, but his instrumental pairings bring just as much to the stories he tells.
If you’re intrigued by this EP and want to hear these songs live, be sure to check out Another Musician at O’Brien’s with Shiver, oldsoul, and Pushflowers on August 3rd. The release is also available in CD and Vinyl on the artists’ Bandcamp.