A Hawk and a Hacksaw return to nature on forthcoming album Forest Bathing

A Hawk and a Hacksaw return to nature on forthcoming album Forest Bathing
Left to right: A Hawk, a Hacksaw (not pictured: a hawk, a hacksaw)

The internet has changed transnational realities and how music is circulated and translated across borders and cultures. Any eager beaver can espouse music’s lingua franca by simply typing in a nationality and a musical genre and come up with absolute fucking class in a click or two (“Lebanese” and “psych” for that one, in case you are wondering).

Although based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost of A Hawk and a Hacksaw have championed and immersed themselves in far-flung musical heritages for years now, making album after album of uniquely indebted world music. And now, the goodwill global ambassadors have announced their latest cultural clincher, Forest Bathing, due April April 13 through the band’s own Living Music Duplication label.

Produced by Barnes, the record’s title comes from the Japanese health promotion approach of “Shinrin-yoku,” or “taking in the forest atmosphere,” a concept that influenced the duo’s design for life when recording Forest Bathing. The album was also shaped by travels to Bulgaria, Albania, Turkey, Greece, and Romania; and it features heavy hitters from near and far, including Hungary’s wizard of the cimbalom Unger Balász, John Dieterich (Deerhoof), Chicago trumpet star Sam Johnson, Noah Martinez (Lone Piñon), and Cüneyt Sepetçi, the great clarinetist from Istanbul.

Alas, it’s currently dark and freezing and tree-less throughout much of the western hemisphere, so I guess we’ll all have to settle for pre-ordering Forest Bathing here and watching this recent live clip of A Hawk and a Hacksaw playing “Ciocarlia” in Kolonos, Athens for the web series Stray Songs while we wait for “taking in the forest atmosphere” to be a THING again.

Forest Bathing tracklisting:

01. Alexandria
02. A Broken Road lined with Poplar Trees
03. A Song for Old People/A Song for Young People
04. The Shepherd Dogs are Calling
05. Night Sneaker
06. The Magic Spring
07. The Sky Is Blue, The Desert is Yellow
08. Babayaga
09. The Washing Bear
10. Bayati Maqam

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