Chris Bathgate is a celebrated singer/songwriter whose stark, heartbroken songs (similar in tone to those of Will Oldham or Damien Jurado) earned him a strong local following throughout Southeast Michigan.
Bathgate grew up in Pecatonica, Illinois and started playing music when he was 16, putting in a couple years with a heavy metal band before going solo in 2001. Eventually relocating to Ann Arbor, Michigan to attend the University of Michigan, Bathgate released his next single in 2002, Twilight Unlimited, and his second album, Create and Consume, the following year. It was at this point that he started playing with Michael Beauchamp and Karl Sturk in an old timey-tinged folk trio called the Ambitious Brothers. The group released a couple records, Ambitious Brothers I and Ambitious Brothers II, over the next few years, and disbanded in 2005 when Sturk moved to New York. In 2005 Bathgate worked with the short-lived Descent of the Holy Ghost Church, which included Beauchamp in addition to local indie musicians Jansen Swy, Matt Jones, Louis Dickinson, and Carol Gray. The group disbanded in 2006, after which Bathgate went on to self-release two albums (The Single Road I Long For and Throatsleep) and an EP (A Detailed Account of Three Dreams). He was picked up by the Ann Arbor-based indie label Quite Scientific Records soon after, and his first release on that label, A Cork Tale Wake, arrived in the summer of 2007. After the song "Serpentine" received steady airplay on BBC Radio 2, A Cork Tale Wake was released in the U.K. by One Little Indian. Bathgate's career in the U.K. and Europe took off, and he toured regularly as a solo act and on the festival circuit. A new EP, Wait, Skeleton, was released in 2008, and after a string of singles, he released the album Salt Year in 2011. In the summer of 2012, Bathgate announced he was taking a sabbatical from the music business, and it wasn't until 2014 that he resumed giving live performances. In February 2016, Bathgate released his first album in five years, Old Factory. ~ Margaret Reges