The latest album from the Bats fits snugly into their back catalogue – and that’s what this album is, snug.
It’s well-known how integral this band and Robert Scott have been to NZ music and in ‘The Deep Set’ we find comforting maturity in a confusing time. Scott’s sound comes through, reflective and nostalgic amongst the quintessential Bats’ sound – despite this album being recorded by Ben Edwards at his Sitting Room Studio in Lyttelton.
Themes flick between personal sentimentality and wondering how we got to where we are in the world. There’s subtle allusions to politics, but no outright protest. Rather, Scott’s consistent charming lyrical wit bounces between introversion and vast symbolic imagery.
Their sound hasn’t strayed too far for 30-odd years. The atmosphere from the otherworldly backing vocals and fuzzy guitar lines of Kaye Woodward are grounded by consistent bass bursts from Paul Kean.
Shut Your Eyes is a highlight, a sweet sombre lullaby with the addition of beautifully haunting melancholic strings. Dissonant, but comforting. Antlers, too is a wistful gem.
This album is neither innovative nor controversial, but it is beautiful, contemplative and warm. If you’ve ever enjoyed a Bats’ record, be sure to pick this one up as well.