BC Camplight - The Last Rotation Of Earth (Bella Union)

BC Camplight – The Last Rotation Of Earth (Bella Union)

Almost a year ago on May 19th, 2022, Brian Christinzio announced the latest dramatic hardship in his private life: “So, I’ve been a mess on here lately because I’ve had a recent breakup with my fiancee after 9 years. It’s a sadness I didn’t know existed.” This was followed by a second post that made light humour of the situation: “Having said that, I can finally do my dad-joke when the bartender asked me ‘double or single?’. I’ll say ‘single…very single’ then waggle my eyebrows.”

The Manchester-adopted American-born 43-year-old – known under his project name BC Camplight – has the knee-jerk knack of turning adverse situations and documenting from both a grim and jocular perspective. He has done this in the past when coping with his alcoholism and self-deprecation fuelled mental health issues (on predecessor Shortly After Take Off), as well as UK Visa issues (2018’s Deportation Blues) and his pop-culture-enriched tragicomedy style is present again on sixth record The Last Rotation on Earth. This time Christinzio projects the emotions he felt after the unforeseen end of his long-term relationship with his girlfriend who seemingly also got custody of their family dog. At just over 36 minutes long, it’s a fun-size break-up album that adds fresh, exciting new ideas to a worn-out genre.

BC Camplight uses real quotes from the actual moment of break up on ‘She’s Gone Cold’ – a song written just days after the incident and has the American songwriter collaborate with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to create brassy, xylophonic aquatic folk. The musician paints the scene with arctic metaphors to illustrate the sudden change in the couple’s romantic temperature: “It’s snowing in the lounge. The fish tank is frozen. It feels like Christmas Eve on May 17th.” Although it’s comical, Brian Christinzio exhibits the realistic misunderstanding that can happen at a relationship’s dissolution point; the heartbreaker is politely hinting at what’s happening, causing the heartbroken to not quite comprehend it at first. The musician guesses at inflation, something to do with the Tories, the TV show Homes Under The Hammer before finally understanding the topic at hand. There’s also a witty anthropomorphic remark about their pet pooch packing up his ex’s things and saying to Brian: “I’ll take it from here.”

The ambitious track ‘The Movie’ suggests that Christinzio has been in denial about the break-up, initially thinking that it was some film that he saw that was accompanied by a director’s commentary. The first part of the song is split into two chapters with a narrator introducing each as if it’s a scripted scene: “He’s staring into a photograph. In which he and she laugh in front of the Portuguese sunset. Action!”, before Brian recalls further details of what happens in the footage. The already-intriguing song then takes an enthralling cinematic turn when swaying strings encircle a row between our protagonist and his ex-fiancé (represented by Francesca Pidgeon) detailing perhaps providing reasons for the demise of their love.

The duet between Pidgeon and BC Camplight (which is reminiscent of the band Captain) is also featured on ‘I’m Ugly’, one of two tracks on The Last Rotation of Earth that cross moments of jazz with heavy metal, along with the industrial-art-rock gem ‘Fear: Life In A Dozen Years’. Christinzio expresses a pretty bleak vision of his future on the latter, as well as on ‘Going Out On A Low Note‘ – a track that displays the musician’s impressive yet previously understated vocal range – but this ominous outlook is nothing compared to the title track ‘The Last Rotation of Earth‘.

Although performed with a jolly ragtime-like piano, this is BC Camplight hitting such a mental low that he is seemingly preparing for the end of existence. He moved to the English city of Manchester, as he said in an interview: “I came to find my music and to find her and she’s gone /I do everything in my power not to be dramatic, but I didn’t want to be alive anymore.” He also made the effort to learn the lingo (“I was struck by lightning when I was fourteen but I’ve been fucking mint since” he sings on the John Lee Hooker-flavoured ‘It Never Rains in Manchester‘) and now that’s waste as he’s completely lost. So the Manchester-dweller imagines this last day with a hint of sarcasm: he says farewell to a bird companion called Peter, makes small talk with a Tesco worker and plans to hug beloved companions before the track ends in a big explosion a kin to East 17’s ‘House Of Love‘.

Surprisingly, the title track is at the beginning of the record rather than the end, but that doesn’t mean the finale is less apocalyptic, as ‘The Mourning’ is a haunting mostly-instrumental piece, that’s only words are from an audio clip borrowed from an ABC News report. On April 22nd, 1970, the world had its first Earth Day, and the host says, “At stake now, is every man’s fate”. It’s a call to humans to treat the planet better. Although unclear, perhaps Brian Christinzio uses this clip on his latest haunting, beautiful and hilarious BC Camplight album to send an existential message to his listeners.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.