Montana-born artist Justin Bigart is a unique voice in alternative rock, weaving a narrative of love, danger, and the relentless pursuit of “cheap dopamine.” His latest single, Angel, serves as the haunting fifth chapter of his episodic visual album, Pretty Dopamine Bullets, a work that delves deep into the human psyche’s intricate relationship with instant gratification.
The album, labeled in chapters, unfolds a larger story exploring the pervasive influence of ‘cheap dopamine’ in contemporary society. With Angel as chapter 5, Justin Bigart continues to illuminate the shadows of this theme, exploring the allure of loving someone inherently dangerous yet undeniably intoxicating—a “beautiful destructive machine, a dopamine queen.”
Sonically, Angel draws inspiration from a diverse array of influences, with echoes of Leonard Cohen and Nirvana resonating throughout. The resulting musical tapestry is a fascinating fusion of expansive cinematic rock, gospel choirs, impactful drum lines, and spacious production techniques. The track provides a rousing alt-rock backdrop that masterfully frames Justin Bigart’s haunting vocal performance.
The allure of Angel lies not only in its musical intricacies but in its ability to mirror the complex human experience. As Bigart himself puts it, the track captures the essence of a “dopamine addicted heathen in search of redemption.” The introspective nature of the album, coupled with its societal comparisons, elevates Pretty Dopamine Bullets beyond mere musicality, presenting an immersive audiovisual experience.
Justin Bigart’s music is a genuine reflection of his roots and environment. Hailing from Montana, he seamlessly integrates alternative rock with Americana and gospel influences. His lyrical perspective is that of a self-proclaimed ‘dopamine addicted heathen,’ seeking redemption in the vast landscapes of Bozeman and the deserts around Joshua Tree, CA—places he calls home.
Following his debut album, Western Carnival, released in 2021, Bigart is on a journey through Pretty Dopamine Bullets, with chapters 1 through 5 already enriching the alternative music scene. As he splits his time between the mountains and deserts, Justin Bigart is poised to unveil more chapters in the coming year, building anticipation for the complete release of Pretty Dopamine Bullets.
In a musical landscape saturated with the familiar, Justin Bigart stands out as a storyteller unafraid to explore the darker corners of the human experience.
Photos by Nathan Norby