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The Marquis de Tren (aka the Dirty Three’s Mick Turner) and Will Oldham have met before, 13 years ago, to record the now-classic ‘Get On Jolly’ EP - reissued to coincide with this latest EP - and since then we have heard nothing but silence from the pair...until now! This short but sweet one-sided 12” (there’s a Harvey-designed etching on the flip) sees the two backed by a stellar cast of friends including Dirty Three sticksman Jim White, Angel Olsen and Emmett “Cairo Gang” Kelly, performing three dusky country “solemns”, numbered 28, 10 and 119, with White’s percussion being particularly notable, maintaining a rolling, weary momentum while Billy and Angel croon sweetly together.
It also has a slight feel of Songs: Ohia’s ‘The Lioness’ on ‘Solemn 119’, a dusky tension mounting with skin-tingling intensity which would be cheesy in other hands, but this lot give it an exotic, stumbling lilt which is so communicative and human that it transcends cliches. All three of these tracks are superb, everything you’d hope for from such a pairing.
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