Brighten The Corners Presents singer-songwriter BC Camplight at The Baths in Ipswich on Saturday 9th March 2024.
Is there a curse that says Brian ‘BC Camplight’ Christinzio cannot move forward without being knocked back? That the greatest material is born out of emotional trauma?
Whilst making his new album The Last Rotation Of Earth, Christinzio’s relationship with his fiancé crumbled after nine inseparable years. The album follows this break-up amid long-term struggles with addiction and declining mental health. The outcome is an extraordinary record, with Christinzio describing it as “more cinematic, sophisticated and nuanced than anything I’ve done before.” He goes on to describe how the separation altered his creative focus and caused him to “scrap 95% of what I’d already recorded”, finishing The Last Rotation Of Earth in two months and making what he believes to his most vital album.
Still, Christinzio doesn’t see any of this as a story of redemption. “This is not a story of victory,” he says. “It is a document created in the shadow of incredible darkness. One from which the creator hadn't planned on escaping, and still doesn't. Hence the title of the album. It is the result of an illness that I've battled my whole life. It isn't something that the world has done to me. It's the world I live in and it's no one's fault.”
That Christinzio has bettered his previous album is an achievement, given that Shortly After Takeoff received the best reviews of his life. “A masterpiece,” said The Guardian’s 5 star review, “a half hour or so that roils with anxiety, stuns with beauty and, occasionally, provokes laughter.” Even then, fate intervened when the album was released in April 2020, just as Covid and lockdown kicked in, so he was unable to tour the record until late 2021. The Philadelphian then joked, “I can't wait to make an album that isn’t surrounded by some awful tragedy.”
Talk about tempting fate. But it’s true to say that Christinzio has made his best music under immense duress, and The Last Rotation Of Earth is an inimitable work; a heady, heavy slice of lustrous hooks, moods bursting with classical sophistication and fractured paranoia. Christinzio’s signature dizzying progressions and U-turns are executed with a masterful hand. A notable feature of the album are periodic conversational voices, as if a cast of people were delivering their lines – which was exactly part of Christinzio’s thinking. “I wanted to make the songs resemble little films, with lots of ideas,” he says. “I love surprises in music, which work against what we are trained to expect in a song.”