Release Date: Jan 20, 2015
Record label: Bella Union
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop
New Jersey native Brian Christinzo, who operates under the nom de plume BC Camplight, released a pair of generally well-received, piano-driven psych-pop albums in 2005 and 2007 and then promptly went underground, only half-jokingly describing himself at the time as "the guy who blew it. " In 2012 he relocated to Manchester, England and set about rebuilding his confidence, and the resulting Bella Union-issued How to Die in the North sounds like the product of an artist restored. Bold, beautiful, campy, heartbreaking, and flush with moxie, Christinzo's third outing is a left-field gem; an indie rock distillation of '60s and '70s chamber pop tropes that prefers Nilsson over Newman, Todd Rundgren over Lennon & McCartney, Dennis Wilson over Brian Wilson, and fearlessly (though not always flawlessly) goes all in for the big pop moment.
Philadelphian singer/songwriter Brian Christinzio – better known by his recording moniker BC Camplight – released a couple of albums of Beach Boys-influenced guitar pop in the back half of the noughties: 2005’s Hide, Run Away and 2007’s Blink Of A Nihilist. Both albums were warmly received by the critics but, given their lack of commercial impact, it’s unlikely that many people were pining desperately for BC Camplight’s return as seven years came and went without a follow-up to Blink Of A Nihilist. Christinzio, it seemed, was just one of many recording artists who fail to get the world’s attention and then slip off the radar and into alternative employment.
Thank heavens for labels such as Bella Union. In much the same way that they helped resurrect the career of fellow off-kilter troubadour John Grant, they’ve stepped in to facilitate the first BC Camplight album since 2007’s lauded Blink Of A Nihilist. And it’s a triumph. How To Die In The North is an eccentric showcase of melodic wizardry and musical virtuosity to stand alongside the likes of Todd Rundgren’s Something/Anything or Ariel Pink’s Before Today.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Brian Christinzio describes himself, perhaps a little too harshly, as 'the guy who blew it'. After releasing two critically-acclaimed psych-pop records (Hide, Run Away in 2005 and Blink of a Nihilist in 2007), he entered his wilderness years, 'putting down the piano' at exactly the point when psychedelia emerged as the template for a number of hugely successful bands.