The Bats: A Vibrant, Gentle Jangle

Thursday's Pick

  • Song: "The Orchard"
  • Artist: The Bats
  • CD: The Guilty Office
  • Genre: Pop-Rock

The Bats' scruffy jangle-pop has lost none of its charm over the past 25-plus years: Each of the tracks on the veteran New Zealanders' latest album, The Guilty Office, is a chiming, slightly melancholy gem.

The Bats 300

In The Bats' "The Orchard," plaintive strings meld with plucky guitars as wistful hope burns off a mist of gloom. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist

Perhaps the record's greatest moment is its closer, "The Orchard," in which plaintive strings meld with plucky guitars as wistful hope burns off a mist of gloom. "I want to be somewhere I know / When I get to go, I'll feel just right," Robert Scott sings, almost tentatively. "You'll hold my hand, the dangers are passed / We're raising a glass to a better time."

By the time guitarist Kaye Woodward's lovely harmonies join him in the chorus, the rays of sunshine have started to break through: "And I'll believe you / when you tell me it's all right," they sing. Moving across the meadow and into the orchards, regrets are left behind as they go "a-wassailing around the apple trees again." It's a quiet victory, but a beautiful one, demonstrating that The Bats' gentle jangle remains as potent and affecting as ever.

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Guilty Office

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Album
Guilty Office
Artist
The Bats
Label
Hidden Agenda
Released
2009

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