Chris Bathgate (image credit: Quite Scientific)
A product of the Ann Arbor folk-scene, Chris Bathgate is enjoying some serious spins on my playlist lately; which really isn’t all that surprising, when you consider that Chris counts Will Oldham and Jeff Tweedy amongst his many admirers… after all, two of my favourite artists can’t be wrong.
Last year, Chris released the amazingly polished album, “A Cork Wake Tale“, although it’s only now that I’m really getting into it. In a scene that perhaps is becoming slightly oversaturated, Chris Bathgate has a certain bleakness that seems to set him apart from the other “Iron & Wine” crowd. Much like Bon Iver, there’s a tenderness and vulnerability there that simply pulls you in.
The first song below, “The Last Parade on Ann Street“, is a hauntingly beautiful song, that doesn’t go anywhere near where that first chord indicates. I know that might sound a strange description, but take a listen and see if you feel the same way. And the middle of the song is dominated by a swirling mass of guitars that – for whatever reason – reminds me of The Pixies in one of their contemplative moments. In other words… it’s sheer brilliance.
The second track, “Serpentine“, is actually the opening track on “A Cork Wake Tale”. Someone once described it to me as, “This song is what I imagine ice skating must be like. Silently gliding…“.
And you know what? I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Put simply, you should be listening to this. So get in on it now.