Updated: Apr 11
by Matt Glass
Bishop Blue are a three-piece pop band coming out of Manchester. Having studied together they formed a group back in 2017 and found a unique niche in a swamped marketplace. They work in collaboration with authors to provide a musical backdrop to novelist’s stories. This is a great angle and a wonderful way of connecting two art forms that would normally exist completely separately from each other.
Their opening offering of 2020 is a collaboration with American author April M Woodward. Woodward has produced a sci-fi series of books called the Aeon Chronicles and Bishop Blue have jumped on board at the release of book three. Under record label Bishop Blue Productions comes “Whistling to Heaven".
The song grooves along at an unhurried and warm pace and the sensation is that the band are very natural together. This helps a great deal in allowing the listener to buy into in the track and empathise with the harrowing and emotionally draining lyrics. Lines, which are beautifully disturbing such as - “If I die this very day don’t cry for me for heaven’s sake” and “Don’t you miss me; we’ll find a way” are, while expertly crafted, still on the chilling side and are there to tell a fateful story.
Musically the track is quite exposed with very minimal instrumentation. This is a masterstroke as the sense of space in the track allow the haunting words and whistle refrain to sit at the front of the soundscape. Led by acoustic guitar and with only a click in the background as a beat the lead vocal is sung beautifully and accompanied by complimentary and solid backing vocals.
The song is constructed in a traditional manner and the listener is taken on the songs journey as would be expected with a slow build to a climax and plenty of dynamic twists and turns. The production of the track is done well overall. The guitar noises are full and pleasant on the ear and the vocal is recorded solidly, sounding ethereal yet bursting with power. The second pass of the whistle refrain is a slight mis-step as it is borderline shrill and almost certainly over compressed. This is however more than forgivable overall as the song leaves one both sated and intrigued for more. Top marks!