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Philly expat B.C. Camplight: “Manchester saved my life”

Brian-Christinzio-2520828We’ve continued to keep tabs on local expatriate Brian Christinzio since he moved to the United Kingdom a year and a half ago. In the past six or so months, his ongoing pop-rock project B.C. Camplight announced initial details about its first album in five years (read here), and premiered two songs from it in a studio session on BBC Radio 6 (download here).

Last week Christinzio was profiled by the Manchester Evening News in advance of a club gig at The Deaf Institute (a venue that, reportedly, is the Mancs’ equivalent of Johnny Brenda’s) and he was forthcoming about the “dark place” he found himself in towards the end of his Philly stay – “everything was going downhill for me; physically, emotionally, everything was deteriorating… I knew I’d most likely be dead or in jail if I stayed there. I needed a fresh start, so I packed my bag and moved to Manchester.” From the article:

Christinzio, on today’s form, looks like he couldn’t be happier. Not long after moving into his flat on Oxford Road in 2011, Christinzio says he began “writing furiously…all these songs poured out. It’s a cliché to say it, but it did feel very cathartic.”

Awash with the beautiful tenor vocals, sumptuous pop melodies and opulent production that have previously earned him comparisons with Brian Wilson and Todd Rundgren, Christinzio’s new single Thieves In Antigua – released on April 22, with an album to follow in Autumn – makes it abundantly clear that his most recent life gamble has happily paid off: and he’s eager to share those musical riches.

Read the article here. Below, get a taste of the new era of B.C. Camplight in a performance of “Grim Cinema” for Manchester Scenewipe. And, amid the ups and downs he speaks of, Christinzio remains close with Philadelphia scene friends – including the Summer Fiction gang, who are enroute to the UK as we speak to record their new album with Christinzio.

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The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. Cold Fronts, B.C. Camplight, Sea of Bees

Philly pop-rock foursome Cold Fronts – who play West Philly DIY space Sprinkle Kingdom next week – released a new single called “Ear Candy,” from their latest recordings with local producer Kyle “Slick” Johnson. With a speedy beat and an infectious guitar lead, it’s total ear candy – download it for free below.

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The Week So Far: 14 must-read stories on The Key

Download B.C. Camplight‘s BBC Radio 6 session featuring two new songs [link]

Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang bring rock and soul to their Key Session [link]

Listen to Free Energy‘s new album Love Sign at Consequence of Sound [link]

Thrash out with a new Surgeon track; they play Kung Fu Necktie next month [link]

The collaboration between Ground Up and The Lawsuits continues in a HotBox session [link]

David Bowie releases a new single for his birthday [link]

Chill Moody releases his latest album, RFM [link]

Get psyched for Zilla Rocca‘s Tuesday Tune-Out with his new Wrecking Crew video [link]

Download The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 6, our new 17-song compilation [link]

Stream the new album from The Lone Bellow, a Georgia-bred close harmony trio [link]

Stream a new EP from Philly’s Acres of Diamonds, who play PhilaMOCA next week [link]

Plow United announces the details of their all-ages album-release show at The Barbary [link]

Download Anais Mitchell‘s Folkadelphia session [link]

The WXPN Philly Local Show expands to three hours [link]

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Download B.C. Camplight’s BBC session featuring two new songs, “Thieves in Antigua” and “Atom Bomb”

Today we’ve got the latest news from one of our favorite Philly music expatriates – Brian Christinzio, aka B.C. Camplight, who had just announced his new LP Grim Cinema when we last heard from him in the fall. Currently residing in Manchester, UK, he was featured in a studio session with BBC Radio 6′s Marc Riley last week. In the interview and session, recorded last autumn, Christinzio speaks candidly about why he made the jump from Philadelphia to Manchester, contrasts the two “tough towns,” takes a digression into his brief career as a boxer, and plays two new songs – the absolutely catchy “Thieves in Antigua” and the pensive and contemplative “Atom Bomb.” Stream and download the session below, and tell me this isn’t making you even more antsy to hear Grim Cinema in its entirety.

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Coming in 2013: A new LP from B.C. Camplight, Grim Cinema

Things have been on the quiet side from B.C. Camplight since his spectacular Harry Nilsson tribute show at Johnny Brenda’s in late April of 2011 (watch him absolutely slaying “Without You” here), but with good reason. The prolific piano-pop singer and songwriter has been hard at work on his latest record, Grim Cinema, and today just announced via the Ireland-based blog  Whisperin’ and Hollerin’ that it will be released sometime in 2013.

After making a big splash in 2005 with Hide, Run Away and its irresistible single “Blood and Peanut Butter” (watch a snowboarding video set to that song here), B.C. fell a bit off the radar in the states. His 2007 followup LP Blink of a Nihilist was released in the UK – where he cultivated a strong following – but was only available as a pricy import CD in the states until 2010. In late 2009 he was the first artist spotlighted by the Weathervane Music Project, recording a snappy song called “Your Daddy Is A Little Girl” and laying the groundwork for what would eventually become the Shaking Through series. Aside from that, he’d make periodic Johnny Brenda’s appearances (his cover of “Hot For Teacher” at a show opening for Buried Beds in 2010 was somewhat legendary, as was a later interpretation of Van Halen’s “Eruption” on piano), he’d bounce back and forth between England and Philly, drop hints about new music and leave us wondering when we’d get to hear it. Continue reading →

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Download Summer Fiction’s “By The Sea” from The Key Studio Sessions Compilation

Last week we released The Key Studio Sessions Volume 1, a digital compilation of 17 songs recorded by local bands who have done our weekly Key Studio Sessions. You can download the entire collection of 17 songs here. Today we highlight a song from the session that Summer Fiction recorded in January. Summer Fiction is the latest project from singer-songwriter Bill Ricchini. When he recorded the session he brought in a group of players that included some of best musicians on the local scene—including Brian Christinzio (B.C. Camplight) on piano, Todd Zamostien (North Lawrence Midnight Singers) on electric guitar, Alex Yaker (Roomtone, The Yaker Brothers, ex-Grammar Debate!) on bass, and Alec Meltzer (Yellow Humphrey, Papertrees,) on drums.

You can listen to the entire session here, however you can download the song “By The Sea” below. Click here to download the entire collection of song in one zip file.