Just go and buy it. This is definitely a slower hushed version of BPP from some of the latest stuff. The side of Oldham that I really enjoy (with the other stuff not being so terrible either!).
As Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy is a bit of a collaboration fiend at times, the new album with “The Cairo Gang” (who are not quite a gang in reality, but merely a guy – Emmett Kelly – with a great influence on this indie icon) has hit the mark with an excellent album of pretty much complete success in every way. I have heard some naysayers diss this album a bit for being “boring” or “too laid back”, but why? This is tragic, haunting Billy! Just one listen to “Merciless and Great” and you will know this is some of Oldham’s best work. Listen to “Someone Coming Through” and you want to either be in a cathedral pew listening at midnight or huddled in a comfortable place with great headphones. You will then get something a bit lighter with an almost jaunty “The Sounds Are Always Begging” despite it’s subject matter and even have a touch of bluesy rock of “Teach Me to Bear You” – and those 4 tracks are just the meat of the album!
This is good stuff here folks – I can’t really compare it to a specific previous album from Oldham, but it shows flecks of Master & Everyone, a little bit of I See A Darkness with a whiff of Beware mixed in for good measure. I think I just really like it as well because I didn’t even know this album was happening and it turned out to really become a favourite for the year so far.
The below track is not on the album, so essentially an out-take I guess, but will show you what atmosphere you should be in when thinking about this new collaboration.
“Play, Guitar, Play” – Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & The Cairo Gang (taken from Pitchfork’s Forkcast from a while back & is actually a cover/reworking of the Conway Twitty song!)