May 28, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
After a stint with the Mt. Pleasant band Those Transatlantics, singer/songwriter and musician Christopher Hatfield relocated cross-country to Oakland and dedicated himself to his latest project, Love Axe. There Hatfield penned his 2015 sophomore album, South Dakota, before spending another handful of years roaming the LA area.
Now in the Ojai Valley, Hatfield is back with more from Love Axe, shifting genres and characters with his latest record, THE FOOD. Though the record was originally envisioned as a country record, THE FOOD began taking on different forms, shifting between chamber pop, ‘70s singer/songwriter stylings and the wild sound palettes of Ween. Hatfield has also shared the latest release from the project, his new single “Think,” premiering with Under the Radar.
Revolving around a relentlessly catchy bass synth hook, “Think” is a brilliant indie pop gem. The song steadily builds from its central spacious synth groove into a technicolor symphony of hook-filled indie pop, eventually joined by massive layers of synths, bass, and guitar. Hatfield’s left-of-center sensibilities meld perfectly with an instantly arresting ear for pop hooks, all of which is brought to another level thanks to arrangement and percussion courtesy of Andrew Dost of the band Fun.
Hatfield says of the track, “I woke up with the main synth/bass line in my head one morning and managed to carve the rest out of the ether, and this ended up setting the tone for a lot of what ended up making it on the album. The first half sounds like a love song but it’s kind of the opposite of what most love songs are like – thinking is usually the last task you’re really any good at when you’re in the waxing throes of romantic endeavor, but the truth is that when you find yourself in a committed, long-term relationship you have to start engaging your frontal lobe…As for the second half of the song, it was very near the beginning of Trumpism in early-mid 2016 and I was starting to see the way that people were drawn to him on a reptilian sort of level, much to my horror, and so I was really just wanting to appeal to the non-reptilian parts of people whose brains were still functioning at that point.”
He continues saying, “I really lucked out twice with the finishing production for this one. The first time was when I sent it to my friend Todd, knowing that it needed something but not sure what exactly, and he ended up adding the most perfect bass guitar part, which I never would have thought of (the whole song is already one huge bass line!)…At that point I still had a fairly rudimentary drum track, and Andrew expressed an interest in working on it, and he really launched it into the stratosphere, not only with completely reconceptualizing the percussion but rearranging and adding a bunch of the synth and bass elements and turning it into something entirely new along the way – probably explains why he has a Grammy and I don’t.”
Check out the song and video below and watch for THE FOOD, coming June 25th.