Brian ‘BC Camplight’ Christinzio's second album for Bella Union is arrestingly described as "an exhilarating, dynamic document of calamity and stress".
The New Jersey born singer-songwriter doesn't mince words either when he states that “the past few years have been a fucking nightmare”.
The title of his 2015 album was 'How To Die In The North'. Although that title doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs, it actually charted a mood of relative positivity after he faced up to the urgent need to overcome addiction and mental illness.
But two days after this record came out things went pear-shaped. Christinzio was told he was being deported back to America and banned from the UK.
The resulting feelings of anger, dread and disease brought back old inclinations towards self destructive drinking. Fortunately, the worst case scenario was averted since , thanks to his grandparents, he gained Italian citizenship. This revised status enabled him to return to Manchester, a city that had come to associate with hope and a fresh start.
One look at the titles on this record are an indication of his mental state as he waited for the bureaucratic wheels to turn in his favour. For instance there's I'm In A Weird Place Now,Am I Dead Yet? and I'm Desperate. The feverish rhythms of the latter sounds like Suicide and at times the singer sounds suicidal.
In Liverpool’s Whitewood studios, Christinzio locked himself in the windowless studio and recorded almost exclusively in the dark and mostly on his own. His only aids were drummer Adam Dawson, guitarist Robbie Rush and a couple of session horn players.
Darker and more electronic than its predecessor, the album is not designed to be easy on the ear. Christinzio says: “every time something sounded pretty, I replaced it with something that sounded like an ice pick”. On Midnight Ease he sings "I hate being dramatic" but drama is precisely what drives the record.