Brian Christinzio’s bad luck is legendary. If you thought things would be looking up for the Manchester-based Philadelphian songwriter’s 2020 album as BC Camplight, Shortly After Takeoff; written on the back of a deeply traumatic battle with the Home Office, followed in close succession by the death of his father, then you’d be wrong. If that record deals with the aftermath of being cruelly ripped from a home, then The Last Rotation of Earth, deals more with the wreckage of a relationship, detailing the slow, emotional end of a nine-year relationship, amid a backdrop of addiction struggles and mental anguish.
It’s not going to shock you then when I say that The Last Rotation of Earth is pretty bleak in its themes and motifs. Each song glides past like pictures in a scrapbook detailing the downward spiral of a love affair, with lyrics that feel like overheard snippets of bitter arguments and heartbroken reflections into a bathroom mirror. However, Christinzio, always the eager-to-please performer at heart, can’t resist finding the humour in the wreckage. The record is peppered with odd little vignettes that manage to capture the mundane ridiculousness of it all. Arguments with his significant other on how to correctly pronounce Theroux, sit next to sudden, depressing revelations that come when you find yourself watching David Dickinson in a fleabag hotel.
But, as the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And this is pretty incredible lemonade. The subject matter might be dark, but the melodies make this pure, hook-laden pop. Finding influences from the last 60 years of popular music, every song honestly feels like its own self-contained masterpiece. From the luxurious, Talk Talk-style sophisti-pop of ‘Kicking Up a Fuss’ to the lush, orchestrated strings and soaring emotional arrangements of ‘Going Out On A Low Note’ and the scene hopping audio-verité of ‘The Movie’, every track seems to fizz and glisten with uncontrolled creativity.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about The Last Rotation of Earth, though, is just how emotionally honest it is. This isn’t a story about redemption, or someone finding a new lease of life. No, like the aftermath of most relationships, this is a record about coming to terms with feeling shitty and trying to move on. Dodging any clumsy attempt at closure, instead the album elects to just fade out with a song called ‘The Mourning’. A quiet requiem, the ghostly piano and haunting string encapsulate both a crushing sense of despair and a need to move on. It’s a feeling that anyone who’s ever been jilted, ghosted, or unceremoniously dumped will know intimately. Most of the time, it’s all you have to cling on to.