BC Camplight shares title track to new album “Shortly After Takeoff” released 24th April via Bella Union- UK live dates follow in the Summer and Autumn
With his much-anticipated new album Shortly After Takeoff due for release 24th April via Bella Union, and already the subject of rave reviews in MOJO and Uncut, BC Camplight has today shared the title track from the album. Of the track BC Camplight comments:
“I feel at home being down. I spend a lot of time there. Your toast can only land butter-side to the floor so many times before one questions if there is anything other than down. Well, right before I recorded Shortly After Takeoff I discovered that up exists. It’s a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. This song is about my all too predictable free-fall back down. Back to where one can enjoy all the home-cooked comforts of their own fears. The familiar tightening grip. I write in this song regarding the fall “Shortly After Takeoff you’ll find me crashing out. Don’t pick up the pieces”. This is where I live. I do my best work here. Maybe one day I will move up. I’m not ruling it out.”
Click HERE to listen.
Saturday 18th July – Stirling – Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival
Friday 24th July – Hertfordshire – Standon Calling Festival
Sunday 26th July – Jodrell Bank – Bluedot Festival
Tuesday 22nd September – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
Wednesday 23rd September – Leicester – O2 Academy 2
Thursday 24th September – Hull – The Welly
Friday 25th September – Carlisle – The Brickyard
Wednesday 30th September – Stoke-On-Trent – The Sugarmill
Thursday 1st October – Portsmouth – The Wedgewood Rooms
Friday 2nd October – Milton Keynes – MK11
Monday 5th October – Exeter – Phoenix
Tuesday 6th October – Cardiff – The Globe
Thursday 8th October – Kendal – The Brewery Arts Centre
Tuesday 17th November – Bristol – Trinity Centre
Wednesday 18th November – Birmingham – The Glee Club
Thursday 19th November – Newcastle – University Student’s Union
Monday 23rd November – Glasgow – St. Luke’s
Tuesday 24th November – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
Thursday 26th November – London – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Friday 27th November – Manchester – O2 Ritz
“This is an examination of madness and loss,” says Brian Christinzio, the inimitable force behind BC Camplight. “I hope it starts a long overdue conversation.”
Fired by his ongoing battle with mental illness, Shortly After Takeoff is the final, and finest, chapter of what Christinzio calls his “Manchester Trilogy”, following 2015’s “How To Die In The North” and 2018’s “Deportation Blues”. All three albums were created after the native Philadelphian had moved to Manchester. Like Deportation Blues, Shortly After Takeoff spans singer-songwriter classicism, gnarly synth-pop and ‘50s rock’n’roll, with Christinzio’s similarly distinctive, flexible vocal carrying a fearless approach to lyrical introspection, but the new album is a major leap forward in songwriting sophistication and lyrical communication.
“It’s important to stress that this isn’t a redemption story,” he says. “I’m a guy who maybe lives a little hard and I’m in the thick of some heavy stuff. But as a result, I think I’ve made my best record.”
The “heavy stuff” has come thick and fast for Christinzio. Just days before How To Die In The North was released, he was deported and banned from the UK because of visa issues. Estranged from his new home, his girlfriend and his dog, unable to promote his album and back home with his parents, Christinzio sunk deep into the dark. An Italian passport, care of his grandparents, eventually allowed him to re-settle in Manchester, but then just days before Deportation Blues was released, his father Angelo unexpectedly died.
“I went into a spiral that was worse than any time since my twenties,” he recalls. Hence the title Shortly After Takeoff: the feeling of being suddenly thwarted by what life throws at you. Making matters worse was a neurological disorder that returned after years in remission: “I see TV static, and it messes with how my brain interprets everything from sound to my own feelings.”
One way to process tragedy is comedy, which elevates Shortly After Takeoff to a heightened plateau, from grief-stricken vulnerability to armoured bravado, from the black dog of depression to gallows humour.
Bleak comedy is evident from the album’s first song. ‘I Only Drink When I’m Drunk’ features Christinzio’s trademark ‘keep you on your toes’ style. ‘Ghosthunting’ similarly changes tack, between serene melody, classical harps, and pounding passages. Though the Nilsson-esque ‘I Want To Be In the Mafia’ (Christinzio’s favourite lyric on the album) and the elegantly sombre ‘Arm Around Your Sadness’ are less changeable, the way ‘Back To Work’ trades dreamy AOR and robotic funk, “sums up this record perfectly,” Christinzio feels. “The verse seems to make sense, then out of nowhere, boom boom…just when you think you have it figured out… It’s the never-ending cycle of mental illness.”
Christinzio says his love of stylistic shifts is also linked to a, “pretty low attention span. I’m always stirring the pot, I never let it settle.” His personal life is similarly restless. Few might risk everything and abscond from the safety of home in Philadelphia, where he had released two albums, occasionally played live with local faves The War On Drugs – whose current members Dave Hartley and Robbie Bennett were part of the original BC Camplight live band – and guested on Sharon van Etten’s Epic album. “If I’d stayed, I’d be dead. Period,” he once mused, and what was Philly’s loss became Manchester’s gain.
Shortly After Takeoff ends with the gorgeously tender 93-second ‘Angelo’, “a little fleeting moment for my dad. I wanted his name on the album, and something that sounded like a goodbye. It ends with the drums, like a heartbeat stopping…” That’s Christinzio and Shortly After Takeoff: his best, most honest, open and frequently heartbreaking record.
Shortly After Takeoff tracklist:
1. I Only Drink When I’m Drunk
3. Back To Work
4. Cemetery Lifestyle
5. I Want To Be In The Mafia
6. Shortly After Takeoff
7. Arm Around Your Sadness
8. Born To Cruise