Photo by Federico Sponza
Christopher Ford, aka Christopher the Conquered, is feeling the effects of the Ryan Adams Bump. The Des Moines songwriter was quietly minding his own promotional business, releasing a pair of new songs in “What’s the Name of the Town” and “I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll”, the title track to his forthcoming third LP. Out of the blue, Adams tweeted out an image of the album (a promo copy had found its way into his hands), saying that it was “blowing my mind.” And suddenly everything changed.
The “What’s the Name of the Town” video saw a 701% increase in views; Ford’s Soundcloud plays doubled; even visitors to his website had increased. Ford took to Reddit to sing the praises of the Adams Bump, only to see even greater effects as a result. At the request of Reddit users, he moved up the pre-sale on I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll, and has since sold approximately 200 copies. “It took me 2 years to sell as many copies of my last album as I did yesterday with the new album,” Ford told Techinsider.
Without missing a beat, Ford is keeping the moment going with his next single and video, “On My Final Day”. There’s a hint of latter day Billy Joel in the song’s cool rhythms, though Christopher the Conquered makes it all his own with vocals that range from breathy resignation to gospel declarations. Some irony pokes through the lyrics now that Ford is enjoying new recognition, as he sings “You know I tried to keep it real I tried to break some ground/ Tried to blow the mind of every man I found/ But there won’t be much to say on my final.” Well, folks are definitely listening now.
Of the video for the song, Ford tells Consequence of Sound that it was shot at the elegant Salisbury House in his hometown of Des Moines. He expounds,
“We were just trying to think of a super beautiful place that was wholly unique. The house is basically a replica of the King’s house in Salisbury, England. Carl Weeks was this rich dude in Des Moines whose company owned the patent on cosmetic foundation. He built the house back in the 1920s. Louis Armstrong used to stay there when he played Des Moines because the hotels wouldn’t let him stay since they were still segregated… The piano that is featured in the video is priceless, housed in oak taken from 16th century English estates. Steinway himself oversaw its custom production and said it was the finest piano they’d built to date when they delivered it. There’s a bunch of amazing art in the room we are performing in, something like over $3 million worth. There’s an Anthony Van Dyck in there. As for the way the video is shot and edited, we were mainly playing with the idea of temporality, pondering if everything has happened before and will happen again, which is what the song is about.”
Check it out below.
To help Christopher the Conquered’s pre-order numbers continue to rise, grab your early copy of I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll here. You can also catch Ford and his band in concert this fall with a tour that kicks off in the very same house seen in the “On My Final Day” clip. Find their full itinerary below.
Christopher the Conquered 2015 Tour Dates:
09/26 – Des Moines, IA @ Salisbury House (Album release show)
09/29 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Blue Note
09/30 – Denton, TX @ J&J’s Pizza
10/01 – Austin, TX @ Hole In The Wall
10/02 – Lafayette, LA @ Artmosphere
10/04 – Nashville, TN @ City Winery
10/05 – Athens, GA @ Flicker Theatre
10/07 – St. Louis, MO @ Foam
10/09 – Milwaukee, WI @ Secret Show (Stay Tuned!)
10/10 – Chicago, IL @ Tonic Room
10/15 – Columbia, MO @ The Bridge