“Lord Only Knows” Big Black Delta

Big Black Delta AKA: Jonathan Bates new album 4 will be released on July 10th. The full-length, is His first album since 2017’s his whoRU812. The first song written for ‘4’ was quite fitting given that lofty goal. ‘Lord Only Knows’ is Bates’ mission statement set to major-keyed avant-pop. “It starts like Whitesnake and ends like Liberace,” notes Bates as it travels from its opening granite riffs to luscious layers of choral vocals and heavenly keys. The track also reflects his renewed interest in metal, which was also inspired by sessions with Dhani Harrison.

“I’ve decided to let this project evolve with me as a person,” explains Bates. “I can’t stay in one ‘genre’ because that makes life impossibly boring. I’d rather be honest with myself, and if that can be of service to you, then I’m happy as a pig in shit.”

4 is an emotionally challenging if ultimately rewarding experience, it’s little surprise to discover that it was created in similarly tough circumstances. Four years ago Bates’ father / best friend died, which resulted in the musician finding solace in a bottle-and-a-half of whiskey a day. That contributed to the end of his engagement and ultimately the realisation that he’d have to face his addiction. His close friend Cyrus Makarechian (of the LA band Black Line) provided a safe space to detox, and Bates further battled his demons with the help of a therapist. A previous album, recorded at his lowest point, was shelved as he instead began work on 4.

Recently, Big Black Delta shared a video for “Lord Only Knows”, which was created by director Adam Osgood. The engaging animated visual is interlinked to the director’s previous videos for Big Black Delta’s ‘Huggin & Kissin’ and ‘Bitten By The Apple’, creating a loose trilogy themed around the concept of being lost in space.

Osgood commented: “The last time we saw the father character, he was a god-like being hurtling towards earth as an asteroid. I thought it would be an interesting twist if it turned out that he was the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. I’m (unfortunately) preoccupied with apocalyptic thoughts during most of my waking hours, and wanted to parallel that Mesozoic destruction with my real-life worries about nuclear warfare. Including the Liberace character was an idea from Jon that I thought was brilliant, and incorporating something zany into this tale was a great way to counter the darkness.”

Jonathan Bates first came to attention as frontman of Mellowdrone before joining M83’s live band. His friend Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails) encouraged him to experiment with making music on a laptop, a suggestion that instigated his long running creativity as Big Black Delta. Bates has collaborated with Kimbra, Debbie Gibson, and remixed Puscifer and White Zombie. The project has also seen Bates team up with his friends with M83: first by remixing their track “Midnight City”, and then by sharing remix duties on “Fall” from Daft Punk’s soundtrack to Tron: Legacy.