How to Die in the North
BC Camplight, released a pair of generally well-received, piano-driven psych-pop albums in 2005 and 2007 and then promptly went underground. In 2012 BC CAMPLIGHT 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, BC CAMPLIGHT'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. A nuanced, human, and lovingly constructed blend of road trip-ready earworms ("You Should Have Gone to School," "Thieves in Antigua"), breezy cocktail stirrers ("Love Isn't Anybody's Fault"), and shamelessly-lay-on-your-bedroom-floor-and-sob-piano ballads ("Atom Bomb," Why Doesn't Anybody Fall in Love"), the latter of which features a chorus that smartly invokes Harry Nilsson's "Without You"