Bishop Battle’s new track “Fly Away” builds up with an exotic synth-pop opening, driving to an infectious pop hook at 00:55. Depeche Mode and Erasure come to mind as stylistic comparisons as the listener digs into this electronic-pop gem.
Battle comments, “I wish I could take full credit for my creative output,” Bishop explains. “Often, I hear music in my dreams, or shortly before/after waking up. Sometimes things come to me at random times, and although I don’t know what they are exactly about at the time, I know how they make me feel. My objective with any song, and “Fly Away” was no different, is that I have to figure out a way to accurately convey that emotion not only in my lyrical and musical approach, but also my performances.
“This is actually the first song I wrote that wasn’t a “rock” song, and although I typically prefer to let my listeners determine what a song means so that it will speak to them and their situation, I wrote this one for my wife (who I’ve been married to for 16 years). She’s always been asking for one, but they had never come to me in the past! However, I prefer complexity and depth, so although I chose to write about romance, I also wanted to convey the sorrow that often comes with an enduring relationship. It’s not always easy to be there for each other, but the fact remains that even when it’s not easy, it’s certainly easier together. I think portraying that security amongst the chaos in this track is why I believe it will relate to many who listen.”
Having focused primarily on sports in high school, Bishop Battle did not begin his formal music training until attending Chipola College in Marianna, Florida, where he held a double major in both Vocal Performance and Theatre Performance. Upon transferring to Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida in 2002, Bishop’s initial stay there would be brief, as he also served in the Marine Corps reserves while attending school, and was called upon to deploy to Iraq as a machine gunner. After returning from the war, Bishop would go on to obtain his baccalaureate degree from FAMU, where he also played running back for the FAMU Rattlers.
Upon graduating from FAMU, Bishop spent a year working as an English teacher, using the time for his wife to finish college, as well as an opportunity to build up their savings to move to Los Angeles. After the school year was completed, Bishop began his acting career in California, where he joined the Screen Actors Guild, and appeared in film and television shows such as “Lions For Lambs,” “Criminal Minds,” and “The Unit.” While in Los Angeles, Bishop also sang professionally for “The Voices of Christmas,” a renowned seasonal a cappella company.
In the summer of 2006, Bishop was in the process of developing a music project under the name Forgotten Discipline. Through a mutual friend, Bishop’s tracks were pitched to Floridan bassist Brian Buckalew, who was immediately drawn to Bishop’s use of vocal layering and rich instrumentation. Likewise, Bishop found Buckalew’s melodic, eclectic bass style to be highly complimentary, and the two musicians quickly melded and began collaboration. However, many of the tracks were not completed, mostly due to technological constraints at the time and the availability of other dedicated musicians to bring the project to fruition.
After failing to successfully complete the unfinished Forgotten Discipline album, Bishop and Brian seemingly went separate ways, as Bishop left Los Angeles and rejoined the Marine Corps as an Officer. Brian had gone on to produce a solo album under the name Day of Awakening, launching the debut instrumental under the album name “Open Heart.” In 2012, Brian began production of his second Day of Awakening album, but instead of producing a strictly solo instrumental album, Brian envisioned a collaborative effort, tapping into talent he had come to know over his years as a musician and producer. Bishop’s strong dynamic vocal range and introspective and creative lyrical approach are what led Brian to attempt to reconnect with Bishop, who had altogether abandoned songwriting, performing, and recording, with the exception of volunteering in his church worship teams.
Reinvigorated by Day of Awakening, Bishop quickly began work, adding lyrics and vocals to many of the album’s tracks, some of which Brian had not originally intended for vocals to be on at all. After performing the finished Day of Awakening album live in Florida and Alabama in the summer of 2014, Bishop and Brian began talks of resurrecting what they had started with Forgotten Discipline years ago. From there, the Alternative Rock band Continua was born, with Bishop acting as the frontman. No longer constrained by a lack of technological advancements, work on the debut album continued though 2015, leading to their self-produced debut album “Daybreak”. Continua’s sound includes use of instrumental and vocal layering, minor tonality, and combining guitar & bass driven tracks with electronic synthesizers.