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December 2nd, 2008

Idle Hands Are The Devil's Playthings

Steve GullickPhoto: Steve Gullick

Taken from Domino

On 16 March 2009 Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy is to release his new, biggest and most ambitious album ‘Beware‘ on Domino.

Joining Bonny deep in the mix of Beware, the roll-call of top players include the band (Josh Abrams, Jennifer Hutt, Emmett Kelly and Michael Zerang) and special guests (Dee Alexander, Leroy Bach, Jim Becker, Robert Cruz, DV DeVincentis, Jon Langford, Greg Leisez, Rob Mazurek, Nicole Mitchell and Azita Youseffi)!

Breaking through the dirt and shooting upward into our atmosphere is a new variety of exotic Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy plant. Stronger. Stinkier. It blooms in low light and cold but thrives in the sun as well, showing enticing spots and eating small creatures as they wander into its jaws. They had it coming, they were weak…and you’re next! Beware.   

Though Beware shares spit with its immediate predecessor released this past summer, Lie Down in the Light, it’s reach is longer and stronger, more grandiose. Where fiddle and steel contribute their rustic timbre alongside guitars and voices, a thickening thud of low tone rolls beneath, giving the record a bottom that’s fun to watch bounce in new clothes. This indensifies the air and heralds Beware as Bonny’s biggest, most ambitious record to date – yea, bigger and more ambitious than even The Letting Go! A listen or two through and you too may conclude that this could also be the great Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy contempo-country record – though, as always, the ‘Prince’ goes his own special way, even when climbing the charts with brawny arms and classic titles like “I Don’t Belong to Anyone,” “You Can’t Hurt Me Now,” and “I Am Goodbye.”

Beware is a much more measured exploration of the soul’s frailty and the sorry state of human relationships than your typical, everyday, bleaked-out, all-and-nothing roots rock platter. Song titles suggest half of a heated dialogue, perhaps just one side of a super-apocalypto phone call. Yet, there’s humor here as well, some of it too cute to call black. Lyrically, domestic ripostes are mixed with I-thou asides, statements of lusty selfhood and subtlety in between the lines, examining culpability and the need for release and rebellion, if you must know. Basically, if you haven’t learned already, love goes down mazy, anfractuous paths, on some days giving rise to irritations (both spiritual and physical) and the difficult consideration of an alternative fate. Sometimes all you want to do is f**k. Then there’s the times of fun, laughter and learning, and the sudden appreciation of your partner, your only friend. And with all these things in hand,

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy says Beware.

Is It The Sea?
Out now, Is It The Sea? is a new live album pulled from Will Oldham’s sold out tour of Scotland and Ireland in the Spring of 2006.  Bonnie is backed by Edinburgh’s Harem Scarem on harmonies, fiddle, flute, banjo and accordion.  Glasgow’s Alex Neilson joins on drums and percussion.  You can buy a copy here.

[download] Is It The Sea? (Live)

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kevin-

2 Comments »

  1. Wow! How did you get hold of an advance copy of Beware?!

    B’P’B is truly one of the few essential troubadours working today; every release is worthy of a listen.

    Thanks for sharing the live track – I’ve been meaning to get it awhile, but hadn’t heard anything off it yet. Isn’t it great how he reinvents his songs live!

    Comment by whiff — December 2, 2008 @ 8:38 am
  2. awesome! thank you so much for this

    Comment by Molly Lambert — December 21, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

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