Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Something has happened to Billy, he's not so depressing anymore. During 'Lay and Love' he eulogises about a woman. 'From what I've seen, you're magnificent, you fight evil with all you do
From what I hear you're generous. You make sunshine and glory too. When you walk in things go luminous.' What's going on? What happened to the Billy that made me feel my life is so much better having heard how tough his life is? Is she the one he's in love with? But then why not? For someone with such poetic sensitivity, he's bound to find love.
I really could preach about Bonnie Prince Billy forever, how special and rare his talent is etc. I love the way he peppers biblical references in his previous albums. The thing about Bonnie Prince Billy is whenever I listen to his songs I get lulled into a false sense that I'm listening to something very pretty and sweet, only to be stunned he's actually singing about the very opposite of that - sometimes dirty sexual encounters, at others times kinky affairs. 'No Bad News' is a fine example of this, a very melodic song about someone bearing bad news by far the best song here, and the most accessible. His melodies don't always immediately hit you, they take time. But once they do you really do feel like you've worked for it and you feel an ownership to it. "The Letting Go" in some ways has lost that edge, as it is more accessible, but that edge has been replaced giving us a fuller, meatier album. This is a fantastic album with beautifully crafted songs.
'The Letting Go' has a female vocal to complement Will Oldham's coarse voice - vocal harmony of the highest order. At times these songs feel like duets. There are drum beats too we're talking electronic beats - but having said all this we're still talking about Bonnie Prince Billy and even when he attempts more accessible songs they still have something no singer can get near. His lyrics are like little Raymond Carveresque stories, full of poignancy and wonderment.