Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Young Widows - Bonnie Prince Billy split on Temporary Residence Records

While on my Young Widows kick, I remembered this first release in the series, the split with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and pulled it out of the 'to review' pile.
This is another great split colored vinyl...almost clear on one side with white streaks and bright green on the other. I love this, and thinking that these were $4 on the site, they are not making any money on this series, just getting a beautiful piece out to fans of the people on these splits and maybe making new ones of Young Widows.

The Young Widows track is 'King of the Back Burners', nice title, very Don Cab. I'm really liking this one, it's very shellac sounding to me, lots of room noise, really clean, gated, separated sounds. The same guitar bursts, the crunchy bass hits right along with the kick. It's all recorded great, I love this huge really detailed sound. It's inherently loud, but still has all these nice subtleties. Vocally it's even a little more shellac-esque, not so macho yelling. The whole thing builds to a stutter finish...Another plus.
I'm going to check out the other two after this, My Disco and Melt-Banana, just to see how these Young Widows tracks play out.

The Bonnie 'Prince' side has Will singing with someone else not listed in the liner notes, and I think a keyboard bassline, it's pretty minimal, could be an electric bass preset or something. It's typical
Will at first, mostly vocal melody driven. I wonder if he starts every song as an a capella version and fills in the guitar. He's successfully reached a perfect balance of staying under the radar and not being overexposed or having tracks end up on the next Garden State soundtrack, while releasing more music than is nearly humanly possible. He's a machine. There's really nothing I don't like, certain songs don't hit me right away but I'll want to hear them more eventually.
Surprisingly there's some electronics here, some kind of moog or early synth and I don't know what era I'm in all of a sudden. I can't get over how he continues to do these really surprising things for having the amount of material already behind him. When he comes in over the entire instrumentation with a booming monotone voice: 'Souls / in a moment of sharing / look back' really loud while he's quietly singing the same lines underneath in that call and response way.
Then just as the song is winding down, it comes back stronger with wailing voices taking over in a final chorus. I don't know how he keeps doing it.

Completely sold out at the source but Discogs has a couple available for sale from members...they look like they are all UK based, but it's something
And it also looks like Insound still has it also.

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