Blending disco, euro-pop, and new wave stylings, out artist Derek Bishop will release his sophomore album Bicycling In Quicksand on April 7, 2015.
The ten-song album features Derek’s trademark energy, showcasing bona fide grooves that harken back to the days when the music was funky and the beats were undeniable. Bishop’s gift for connecting to audiences through personal stories, splashed with a rainbow of contagious melodies and danceable beats, helps him to transcend the typical singer/songwriter tradition as he expands the emotional range of synth-based music. The album’s first single “Baggage” will be available for download on March 3, 2015.
On the cover of Bicycling In Quicksand, a leather-clad Bishop balances atop a wheel while holding an umbrella. It’s a pose that broadcasts insouciance, attitude, and poise under pressure — and a sense of humor. Those are some of the qualities that have endeared Derek Bishop to fans, many of whom identify strongly with the singer’s honesty and openness about his sexuality. Much of Resistance Is Beautiful, Bishop’s first album, is forthright about the difficulties and joys of coming out. Bishop’s music has been embraced by gay audiences who recognize the artist as a brave reporter who has gotten the story right.
That said, the response wouldn’t be as enthusiastic about Bishop’s music if the beats and melodies weren’t in place. Bicycling In Quicksand, which draws equally from dance music, soul, and ’70s synth-laden prog-rock, is a deeper, richer, more colorful trip than its predecessor. The new record is an exhibition of Bishop’s talents as a lyricist, tunesmith and arranger, and the lead single “Baggage” is the artist at his exuberant best. In a little less than four minutes, Bishop manages to evoke new wave, vintage mirror-ball disco, Pet Shop Boys-style storytelling, synthpop, and contemporary dance-rock.
Thematically, the album is about having the backbone to drag yourself out of the muck that keeps you standing still, Bicycling in Quicksand. It’s about striving to create and be the best version of yourself all while avoiding the pitfalls of procrastination. Sonically, it’s a game of allusions and innuendo wittingly structured using the best of ’80s synthpop and late ’70s disco as its building blocks. The album sounds like someone put the all of 1980s into a blender: the music, TV, the commercials, and especially the video games.
Produced by Jay Braun (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Japanther), the album features the additional talents of all-star backing band Luis Illades (Pansy Division) on drums, Emily Panic (Foxygen) on bass and Braun on guitar.
Bishop, who up until recently was moonlighting as an art director designing Broadway cast albums, has wrapped his ears and eyes around multiple musical genres to create something new and fresh. “I find music to be an extremely visual thing, so I’ve paid just as much attention to the photos, videos and packaging of my albums as to the musical instruments we played and the style of music.” Indeed, Bishop’s new album Bicycling In Quicksand not only finds him working as the singer, songwriter and keyboardist – but also as the stylist, art director, and photographer.
In the spring of 2015, Bishop will tour with his band across the country in support of this album.