Straight No Chaser

CD Review – Chris Bathgate

Salt Year

Quite Scientific Records

What do you get when you combine tragedy with optimism? You get one of the best folk albums of the year. The opener “Eliza (Hue)” starts as a beautifully quiet introspective track, but then it expands into a musically swaying folk-circus before calming back down to a lone piano. You become a like a fish, entranced by the bait and then he has you hook, line and sinker. But it is completely worth it. “Poor Eliza” continues the theme with a more countrified (and darker) sound complete with a prominent fiddle making it the first song I’ve ever heard that sounds like it was partially written in the back woods of Alabama and partially in a cave.

Bathgate has taken the Richard Buckner lonely folk baritone and somehow made it simultaniously darker and optimistic. Bathgate said that recording this album was a “painful and joyful experience.” That experience has created a beautiful gothic-folk record that must be heard.

http://www.chrisbathgate.org


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