Recording artist, songwriter, musician, actor, and Marine Corps veteran, Bishop Battle has released his latest single “The Ransom (Part 1)”. The track somehow manages to be nostalgic but modern at the same time. Drawing from what sounds like influences from Darkwave, with a dash of added pop power and 21st century production, this track may just be one of the best things I have heard all year. I didn’t have to listen long to know that this was my kind of music. I really like music that is dark and edgy, and Bishop Battle is definitely that. The entire arrangement, with its cascading piano notes, manages to evoke a heart-wrenching poignancy. It’s the kind of achievement you have no choice but to respect, regardless of your genre preference. In nearly every instance, Bishop Battle’s judgment when it comes to guiding the musical arrangement or choosing the vocal nuance, is spot-on.
The facility with which Bishop Battle can summon a seemingly endless number of melancholy hooks is simply stunning. The lyrics are extremely intelligent and thoughtful, without being artsy, evoking a deep mood and subsequent sentiments.
Where the singer-songwriter’s voice reaches for his upper register to amplify the drama, his understated performance-tones in the verses, serves to deepen the emotional impact of the song. It’s a rare thing: an already great song made even better through vocal interpretation. Its epic scale is then further amplified by the soaring string arrangement.
In the end, the most impressive feature of this new recording is Bishop Battle’s voice. His vocals here are nuanced and confident. He is less apt to jump right to his highest range to convey emotion, favoring quieter gradations of tone or variations of grit.
When his voice breaks during the opening chorus of “The Ransom (Part 1)”, the song enters a new stratosphere of beauty. It’s a kind of artistic sincerity, and it is a definitive moment on a track which, taken as a whole, could possibly present a career-defining performance.
Fortunately for the listener, Bishop Battle is such an ambitious musician who produces and delivers quality music creations. Blending synths with strings, and pianos, he still manages to give the song a completely different atmosphere to the sound of his current electronic contemporaries, getting more depth, arcs of suspense and intensity.
And of course, as mentioned before, Bishop Battle also made it to approach the song vocally in a different way – restrained and soft in places, and more powerful, soaring and full of emotion in others. The listener is swept away in the subtle, but grandiose production, and the understated, yet luscious sounds are a delight on every repeated listen.
“The Ransom (Part 1)” is melodic, alternative and progressive music, with a cinematic scope. It leans on the lyric and the vocal for its initial impact, as Bishop Battle imbues the melody with an earnestness that almost aches, but ends up being an all-round gorgeous tune. It will put you in the right mood from the start, to fully appreciate it.