I love The Bats. Their music is comfort food for my ears because it’s music that hasn’t really changed much in 35 years, yet somehow never gotten stale. Over the years, the band’s line-up has remained unchanged, songwriter Robert Scott has provided all the personal and political perspective, and the band’s arrangements have never deviated from the basic pop song structure. But that’s fine with me. When the formula is perfect, there’s no need to tinker. Since 1982, this four-piece from Christchurch, New Zealand has delivered jangly, plaintive pop music full of heartfelt lyrics, haunting melodies, and incredible hooks. They’re songs have provided unique and realistic insight into relationships, art, and growing older to a small, loyal following of simpatico listeners whose lives are full of similar struggles, questions and epiphanies. I feel fortunate every time The Bats release a new album, because I know it is a true labor of love by a group of friends who still make music because it’s who they are.
In his All Music review, Tim Sandra writes: “The Bats are one of New Zealand's great treasures bestowed upon the world at large, and anytime they make a record, it's an event worth celebrating.” I couldn’t agree more. In 2017, The Bats released The Deep Set; a collection of dreamy, introspective pop songs that belongs on any “Best Of” list for the year. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but I think “Walking Man” is the track that best encapsulates all the familiar elements of the band’s simple sonic complexities, and a musical melancholia that is somehow never depressing. “Walking Man” is a thoughtful and mature observation on life, awash in jangly guitar riffs and memorable medleys — the perfect recipe for the Happy Medium Song of the Day. (Feel free to use the comments box to share your thoughts.)