Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Nathan Salsburg, Max Porter
Three Feral Pieces
Bonnie “Prince” Billy has again joined forces with guitarist Nathan Salsburg for a short, 3 song release. But this effort stands out because it has a unique twist. Check out the press release below:
In the strange uneasy year of 2020, English writer Max Porter started sending Kentucky guitarist Nathan Salsburg scraps of “feral” text. Unfixed things. Abstract fragments beyond the literal plain, incantations and half-spells, burrowing into the language of decay and growth, weirding and wilding, departure and return. Salsburg dug into scoring them, inviting near-neighbor Bonnie “Prince” Billy to contribute to their musical translation, which he did through singing and his own guitar playing. “Three Feral Pieces” is the outcome of their satellite collaboration: composite chants/yearning rites/spring gifts/field notes/anthropocene love spells.
Cool, right? Yeah, this is pretty damned cool — what a weird way to approach writing a song. The end result is really nice. Will Oldham’s voice is as captivating as it’s ever been, and the wonderful guitar noodling from Salsburg is heavenly. Joan Shelley is also in on this party adding subtle Wurlitzer organ to thicken up the atmosphere.
To say that I understand what these songs are about would be a lie, but the clever melodies and arrangements are the main attraction for me, anyway. Perfect for a dewy, overcast morning while looking out your window as that fucking squirrel steals yet another tomato from your vegetable garden. No big deal, these songs make everything ok.
FAVORITE TRACK: The second track, titled “Unlearned Chat” has duel vocal tracks where Oldham’s voice is repeatedly going up and down in key. The two vocal rhythms end up coalescing into a gorgeous harmony that’ll have you melt into your EZ Boy. There is no discernible chorus or hook, and the song mostly stays the course on the same base riffing, but once the gets going, I never want the song to waiver. Stay the course, captain.
Listen to below via Bandcamp: