Song Premiere: Trace Bundy, “Elephant King”

Videos by American Songwriter

Award-winning Guitar virtuoso Trace Bundy, who’s earned the nickname the Acoustic Ninja, will return with his fifth studio album, Elephant King on May 1. We’ve got a preview of the title track, which is technically difficult enough to keep even a musical ninja on his toes. “It’s definitely a hard one to perform, because it incorporates so many techniques that all happen at the same time,” Bundy tells American Songwriter.

Listen to “Elephant King” and read our interview with Bundy below. Get a free download of “Elephant King” here.

What was the songwriting process for “Elephant King” like?

This was a really fun song to write. I actually co-wrote it with musicians Joseph Brenna and Rob Gordon. I wanted this song to be a combination several techniques – two-handed tapping, percussion on the guitar body, harmonics, etc. It all came together quite well. It’s the 1st track on the album, and it is just me playing one guitar – no other instrumentation. I wanted it to have a raw, acoustic feel.

What’s your most challenging song to perform?

I definitely have some songs with some wacky hard parts to play. For example, during “Liturgy” on my last album I play some percussion with my elbow, and on the song “Hot Capo Stew” I have to navigate around 5 capos. On this album, “Joy & Sorrow” has me alternating between 2 guitars, so I’m always in danger of dropping a guitar. “Overtime” is a complicated mix of tapping & delay techniques, and the song “Coronation” incorporates some crazy music theory that I’m still trying to master. Certainly, the newer songs feel the hardest to perform since they’re not yet second nature. I love a good challenge, and I hope my audience will appreciate the level of difficulty in these songs along with my joy in playing them.

Elephant King Track Listing:

1.) Elephant King
2.) Joy & Sorrow
3.) Traverse
4.) Tres Capos
5.) Timepiece
6.) Adventures in Sawyerland
7.) Be Still
8.) Overtime
9.) Bongolo
10.) Coronation
11.) Anchor

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