Chris Bathgate's New Album Out May 19
Pinckney, Michigan's Chris Bathgate announced his new album, Dizzy Seas, will be released on May 19th on Quite Scientific Records. The follow-up to last year's Old Factory EP, which arrived after a period of self-reflection, during which he hiked extensively and otherwise left the music world behind (Outside looked into how nature influences him), Dizzy Seas is as much an artistic turning point as it is the product of years of exploration, travel, searching, and daydreaming. Urgent, bold, and sonically rich -- with nods to his last full-length, Salt Year, which was hailed as one of the best albums of 2011 by Paste, All Music and more -- Dizzy Seas could well go down as Bathgate's best album to date. Bathgate directed the video for album's first single, "Northern Country Trail," and NPR Music premiered it today, saying it's "a lovely, brooding six-minute ballad... Bathgate's ornate songs unfold gracefully and deliberately, revealing rich layers over time, and his new work is no different." Watch "Northern Country Trail" here:
Dizzy Seas is Bathgate's fourth full-length album; a brilliant collection of recordings that collage together to make a whole, not in a seamless way, but almost like a photo album that has been edited to force you, the listener, to put yourself into the story, to add to that narrative. The music itself is borne of daydreams, and invites you to join in, with the album having left a door unlocked for you to enter by Bathgate's inimitable skill in, as NPR puts it, "the art of distilling alienation into bruised-sounding beauty."
Songs like "Water" travel straight and narrow, pushing you toward nascent whisps of vision; others, such as "Come to the Sea" weave a gossamer portrait of a perhaps forlorn past. Characters appear when we least expect them, such as line-blurring hip-hop artisan Tunde Olaniran's soaring guest vocal on the train-like, then suddenly swooping "Low Hey", while other songs, like closing track "Nicosia" begs you to document the wide-eyed scenery slowly, as the camera in your mind's eye slowly zooms out on the wide emotional landscape of the album. We're left with a whole that begs us to complete the story - Dizzy Seas is one of those tour-de-force albums that begs further listens: picking up on the subtle grain of the background, the whispy hues that color our own personal photo-book stories, and wondering just how we fit in to that brilliant, beautiful, sad, happy, old, new, and wonderfully open story that Bathgate has collected for us on this album.
Dizzy Seas pre-order: