Bonnie Stillwatter is a collaborative project between Will Oldham, the experimental group, Watter and Artisanal Stillwater, a brewer of lovely, arty booze. The Devil Is People is a dark, crescendoing folk song that could soundtrack a walk deep into the woods to do something wrong. Bundy K. Brown of Tortoise and Gastr Del Sol deconstructs and reconstructs the song for the b-side transforming it into an altogether new kind of menacing music.
- 12" £15.99
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- TRR253LP / 12" on Temporary Residence feat. Will Oldham and members of Grails and Tortoise
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- The Devil Is People by Bonnie Stillwatter
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 07 May 2015
As we know it was Will Oldham aka Bonnie Prince Billy who took the photo on the front of Slint’s classic ‘Spiderland’ record. Since then he’s become...y’know...Bonnie Prince Billy whilst Slint have passed into post rock legend.
I’ve longed to hear Oldham something a bit more brooding, a bit more experimental than his usual folky rock stuff and here it is. It’s a collaboration with post rockers Watter who number ex Slint Britt Walford in it’s line up though the circle just stops short of being complete as Walford doesn’t play on this. Instead Grails man Zak Riles provides much of the music which on both sides has an eerie backwater feel. There are two versions of the same track ‘The Devil Is People’ on the A side gentle pianos and banjos pace out a melody before erupting into a slightly prog sounding chorus with washes of synth.
I think I prefer the B side version which stretches the music out with more of a Talk Talk/Tortoise feel eschewing the quiet/loud dynamics of the A side in lieu of a pulsating drift. Wouldn’t mind hearing an album full of this stuff.
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