BC Camplight is set to release his second album for Bella Union, Deportation Blues, on 24th August. An exhilarating, dynamic document of calamity and stress, relayed through richly melodic and bold arrangements spanning singer-songwriter classicism, gnarly synth-pop, ‘50s rock’n’roll and various junctures between.
Born in New Jersey but now based in the UK, BC Camplight, aka Brian Christinzio, had released two albums in 2005 and 2007 – both on One Little Indian – whilst battling addiction and mental illness, eventually rendering him unable to function as a working songwriter. Retreating to a life squatting in an abandoned church, he knew a sea change was needed in order to regain his career and sanity, and was persuaded to come to the UK, whereupon he released his first album for eight years in 2015, on the Brighton-based Bella Union label.
Then, he failed to receive lasting UK immigration status. “I’d had such high hopes for How To Die In The North, and I was told I was being deported two days after it came out, and banned from the UK. The next thing I know, I’m playing Pac Man in my parents’ basement, thinking, this is my life now.”
However, through relatives, Christinzio was able to secure Italian citizenship which enabled him to come to the UK, albeit under a cloud of confused EU citizens status, which is only now being resolved.
Recording in Liverpool’s Whitewood studios, Christinzio locked himself in the windowless studio and recorded almost exclusively in the dark. “The thoughts and sounds that began to flow out of me were pretty scary. I’m pretty sure the engineer started carrying a shiv in his pocket after about the second day. Nothing playful sounding came out. If the last album had elements of whimsy, the thought of any on this album made me want to vomit.” However, as Christinzio points out, “This is no redemption I-saw-the-light story.” He is allowing himself a little bit of hope for once, “I’ve never been as pleased with where I am artistically as I am right now.”
BC Camplight are playing the Green Door Store on Wednesday 24th October 2018