Alec Koone is the 19 year old Ithaca based music student behind Balam Acab. He’s part of this ‘witch house’ music genre, a genre which I think is imaginary and only exists in the mind of music bloggers and the writers of Pitchfork. But if such a thing does actually exist then I’m sure his song ‘Regret Making Mistakes’ would be the poster child for the sound.
The track opens gently, placing Balam in the comfort of a swing chair where the sounds of a nearby stream and the murmur of voices hum dimly in the background. But there is something else around too, something that stalks the inviting eastern strings that drift through the first few bars like a daydream. Casting a shadow across his thoughts and making them teem with regret.
Balam’s awareness of the outside world fades away and he descends deeper into himself, wandering into a foggy tomb of memories. Then as the rich reverb of the bass line starts, the horrors of where his thoughts have wondered start to become clear. He’s surrounded, surrounded by all the sorrows that haunt him. He embodies them with a stunningly haunting voice, one that’s soft on the ears but knife shaped to the soul.
The bass quietens, as the sound of a synthesizer sparkles you can almost see the tears begin to swell in his eyes. He’s recalling the wrong doing of his life, the lies, betrayals, deaths or worse. There release is built up over the remainder of the song brought about with a final cathartic hit of the bass and vocals but this time accompanied by the piano; you can almost see his tears falling as each note is played.
This swell of emotion falls away as quickly as it began, with Balam returning to the world at large. Re-sealing this regret to the tomb from which it was exhumed.
It’s a stunningly powerful song and one that I feel privileged to share with you today.