Ooh it's been a long while since a fully original Bonnie 'Prince' Billy album. The last one was in the middle of the Obama presidency in fact - and to think people had the wherewithal to moan about that tenancy. Now, just as the world is ending we get a proper new BPB album because he realises that there is never a right time for a new album from one of the more loved artists of his generation. Let's just celebrate him whilst he is alive and healthy.
Vinyl LP £18.36 WIGLP465
Black vinyl LP on Domino.
- Only 1 copy left
CD £8.23 WIGCD465
CD on Domino. Includes fold-out poster insert.
Limited Vinyl LP £24.99 WIGLP465X
Limited edition, indies only transparent red vinyl LP on Domino.
- Coloured vinyl
- Indies only
- Limited edition
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's 21st studio album, 'I Made A Place', is a rootsy, classic take on country and Americana. There are merry fiddles, no-nonsense arrangements, and Billy's husky meditations on life, love, and loss.
Bob Dylan seems to hover around the margins of this record. Both Dylan and Billy construct wretched characters that their stories and fables are based around such as the dying woman on 'Look Backward on Your Future, Look Forward to Your Past' or the controlling master from 'I Made A Place'. In fact, the album reminds me of both 'Blonde on Blonde' and 'Blood On The Tracks'. Both artists love to include a lyrical non-sequiter, such as 'I've got the eye for the squid', and sing with a gorgeous husky timbre.
This album really hits its stride on the menacing titular track. It's got a slow-moving grace that's bolstered by Billy's funereal close harmonies and sporadic percussion. I'd love to hear some more stuff in the vein of 'I Made A Place', 'Nothing Is Busted', and 'Building a Fire': dark, gloomily exultant, hypnotic. Billy deftly delivers the tired drawl of a washed-up bluesman. Some of the vocal and harmony cadences even reminded me of the Tom Waits-lite of Ben Ottewell from Gomez.
Lyrically, this album is full of hazy memories and fleeting experiences. On 'Dream Awhile' he breathes 'I go bed and dream awhile'. The song titles reference strange, tangible images such as 'Thick Air' and 'New Memory Box', as well as a hazily realised references, such as 'You Know the One', 'I Made A Place', and 'This Is Far From Over'.
'I Made A Place' is the latest in a string of great Bonnie 'Prince' Billy albums. It's shaping up to be his most fecund period yet.
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