Encompassing the birth of a son, a third coast to West Coast and back to the third coast move, and an ongoing global pandemic, Chris Bathgate returns from his solitude with The Significance of Peaches on May 13th. On this, his sixth full-length album, he is found ruminating on time spent living in the National Forests of Michigan while homeless, his emergence into fatherhood, and yes, the significance a certain stone fruit has played throughout his life. Sonically, The Significance of Peaches leans heavily on the structural support of parlor organ and Chris’s signature multi-tracked percussion – surprisingly sparse use of strings sheathed in the middle – his haunted vocals perched atop it all.
Bathgate began drawing attention as a solo artist in 2005 upon the release of his first album, Silence is for Suckers, after a slew of self-produced EPs, singles and a stint in the short-lived, but much loved, group The Descent of the Holy Ghost Church. Bathgate has always shown a Nick Cave-ish flair for dramatic vocals that feed off orchestrated melodies and create dubious explosions of sound.
Glide is premiering Bathgate’s “The Van” a crawling and mysterious composition that keeps our ears glued for the entire five-and-a-half-minute composition: waiting for each musical peak and valley to unfold. The compositional respect for space and piercing execution, prove Bathgate is a songwriter with the cinematic flair of John Cale, Richard Thompson, and others.
“While it’s a story of being introspective in the forest, it’s more concerned with how things feel, how things seem, which could be different than how things actually are—pointing to that difference in the progressing ‘as if’ conjunctions. The song brings images of seeking respite and inner work camping deep in the forest, but also alludes to the possibility of lost connection, of self-realizations, or of our mortality, without committing to a singular interpretation. All are intended, and are put in the hands of the listener to choose any or all,” says Bathgate.