How big a romantic are you? This is the bittersweet pain of loving and losing, distilled and blended in some unbelievably rich musical clothes; enough to make you swoon, or at least make you stop what you're doing and pay attention. Chris Thomson is the Bathers, insomuch as the songs are his, and he sings them with a slurred, almost horizontal delivery. And what lyrics: love and its destructive power, unrequited love from a distance, loss and emptiness; living life with your heart rather than your head.
But the Bathers are much more than Chris: he has an incredibly gifted and sensitive group of musicians who bring a rich mix of instruments and skills to every piece (violin,piano, guitar, percussion, swooping chorus lines) until you're unsure exactly how the sound is created, but its simply gorgeous, like plunging into a warm pool, with a great chocolatey depth, or sometimes the chill undercurrent of betrayal. For the former, try 'The Belle Sisters', like a re-working of 'La belle dames sans merci', for the former the wistfulness of 'Sundown and Longing', 'Yellow Crombie' or the unashamed 'Huntly in Love'. Really 'Pandemonia' sums it up, as we're all driven crazy by love at some point in our lives. Even more crazily, The Bathers are no more: perhaps there isn't a place for beautifully crafted music which needs air to breathe, and time for you to become familiar before you can explore its depths. Notice the parallel with love in its truest sense here? Buck the trend for the quick fix, and commit yourself to whatever Bathers albums you can acquire: this is a serious and grown-up affair you're getting into. Having said that, I'd maybe start with either 'Sunpowder' or 'Kelvingrove Baby' as a marginal preference over this one; but when you come down to it, it's all classic stuff.