This record is the best surprise of 2013. Completely unannounced and off the radar we noticed a new (or old, we weren’t sure) record by long-time Drag City artist, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy–the alias of Louisville, KY singer/songwriter folkie Will Oldham. We first saw the record on Instagram of all places. Our buddies at End of an Ear in Austin, TX broke the news one day that they’d received a new record from the man himself–literally Will Oldham is taking the order and shipping the records to finer indie record stores all over the country. We later discovered that Oldham had hand delivered some copies to his local record store in Louisville, yet there was nothing online about said album–zero internet presence, except for the Instagram photo. Well, we were able to track down how to get some copies for our store and after talking to Oldham on the phone–he’s self releasing it without label help–our copies (LP and cassette) showed up within the week. AND THEN, we got to hear the record!
It’s the most stripped down record from Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy in years. It’s just vocal and acoustic guitar, and the recording is excellent. The songs are strong and some of his best ever. His style hasn’t changed much, but it immediately harkens back to the songs of “Ease Down the Road,” which is one of his best if not THE best record.
Anyways, this record has been really fun for us. We’ve enjoyed the hunt, the listen, and the sell. Yea, it’s weird to have a record that goes completely unnoticed by the media, but the record stores are on top of it for you! We sold out of our first order in the first few days we had them in stock, but fear not, WE HAVE MORE! And sorry for out-of-town folks, we can only sell this record to customers in person–those rules come from the man himself.
From the album insert:
“both art and life require illusion whether reducing 3 dimensions to 2 on paper or enlarging 2 to 3 in life.”