Mistletone could not be prouder to welcome masterly Melbourne producer and songwriter BATTS to the Mistletone Records fam with her immaculate forthcoming album The Nightline, out October 14 on Mistletone Records (AU/NZ) and I Feel Fine Records (UK).

The first glimpse at The Nightline was “Blue”, a glorious duet with Sharon Van Etten and its dreamy video above, directed by Melanie Scammell.

Showered with global acclaim, “Blue” premiered on Triple R Breakfasters, was added to Double J rotation and reviewed in Double J’s Best New Music, with the video added to Rage rotation on ABC-TV, covered by NME (UK and Australia), Brooklyn Vegan, Stereogum, with copious airplay on BBC Radio 6, Triple R, PBS, 2SER, FBi, RTR and 4ZZZ.
    • “A gorgeous slow burner that sees BATTS crooning above an atmospheric bed of guitars and keys, before an equally striking verse from Van Etten” – NME
    • “A spacious bed of lilting guitars and steadily-loping rhythms – self-produced by BATTS – set the dreamy stage for these two voices to shine. ‘You watch the sun it rises over these blue horizons’, Batt gently sings. Later, Van Etten mirrors that imagery with her equally elegant verse: ‘I feel the moon descending over backlit high rises’. The track truly takes off during a gorgeous bridge and the moment their voices harmonise in the song’s simply yet effective chorus: ‘I wish I could see the blue, babe” – DOUBLE J
    • “Simply a dream. There are flecks of early ’70s psychedelia, as well as of BATTS’ fellow Australian, Julia Jacklin. Her voice is as warming as a soft blanket on a cold winter’s day” – FAR OUT MAGAZINE UK

The Nightline was inspired by an interactive audio project commissioned by Melbourne’s RISING Festival 2021 which invited the city’s insomniacs, night owls and dreamers to leave voicemail messages from midnight-6am. Struck by the vulnerability and therapeutic quality of the messages left by The Nightline’s callers, Batt wrote what became the title track of her album. Each song on The Nightline is its own little therapy session; whether pouring her heart out, having an excellent trip, or struggling to come to terms with life-changing illness. 

The Nightline’s open-book honesty traces the contours of grief, trauma and living with disabling chronic illness, following Batt’s diagnosis with Vestibular Migraine and PPPD. Her unflinching ability to deal with deeply emotive subject matter, and her ambitious vision as a producer, makes The Nightline a platform from which BATTS tackles her demons from a place of strength. 

BATTS has so far in her career looked to the stars. Her critically acclaimed debut album The Grand Tour, a concept album centred around the NASA Voyager missions, was meticulously researched and executed with a glorious sense of wanderlust.

BATTS started the year by signing with Mistletone, launching her own label,  I Feel Fine Records for her UK release, and most recently supporting Welsh icon Cate Le Bon and Australian darlings Vika & Linda. 

The re-emergence of BATTS with “Blue”, her breathtaking collaboration with former tour-mate Sharon Van Etten, hinted that much has changed. The Nightline sees BATTS drop her gaze from the heavens, looking inwards and covering more earthly issues such as grief, chronic illness, love and mental illness.

After touring Australia in 2019 with one of her songwriting idols – Sharon Van Etten and creating a beautiful bond, it led to them wanting to create something together.

“It’s a huge honour to write and create with Sharon – someone who has carved such a powerful path in this industry and remains so kind and humble, a truly special human. I was in the depths of grief at the time and when Blue started to write itself, it clearly reflected how I was feeling. Sharon sent her verse over and the first time I listened to it was such a moment. She just got it, her lyrics were perfectly in keeping with it all. She absolutely completed it. It holds a very special place in my heart.”

Sharon Van Etten recollected, “I got to meet Tanya before I ever got to see her perform live, and she was a bright huge light who wanted to let everyone in and it only let her light shine even more. When I actually got to hear her sing, I was taken to another time, another place that she coloured for me. Helping me step out of myself and feel another soul’s journey. I felt quite grounded and comforted in her essence and all who surrounded her. So it felt quite natural to want to feel included in this group hug that I could tell she was nurturing with everyone around her.”

BATTS has spent a large portion of her career building up an impressive touring resume supporting the likes of Sharon Van Etten, Nilüfer Yanya, Lucius, The Teskey Brothers and Cub Sport (to name just a few). To launch The Grand Tour, Batt worked with the team at Scienceworks to build a dazzling visual experience for three sold out shows in the Melbourne Planetarium. A family tragedy put an abrupt pause to BATTS’ music career, and ultimately inspired the making of The Nightline.

“My father-in-law passed away towards the end of 2019 which shattered my world in unthinkable ways”, Batt says. “I didn’t play music for a while after but I eventually came back to it and clearly began to process through writing. When this became a clear theme of my songs, I felt it only true to make a record I knew my father-in-law would have loved!”

Recorded with her long-time band members Lachlan O’Kane, Ross Beaton, Brendan Tsui and Adam Dean, plus honorary sixth member Alex O’Gorman engineering, Batt’s immaculate production reveals her to be a master of texture and timbre, with spacious folk and sweet vocal harmonics dappled with analogue warmth and synth-pop psychedelica.

These are songs that will keep you up at night; like those confessional voicemails that inspired The Nightline, they pull at the lonely-hearted strings that invisibly bind us all.

pic; Lisa Businovski