Some time ago I was listening to a Will Oldham incarnation, be it a Palace project or Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy I cannot recall, but I do distinctly remember a piece of the Doors lyric “mute nostril agony” running through my mind and perfectly describing the feeling of what I was listening to. Succinct tales of isolation.

Oldham has long mastered both mood and atmosphere, so in retrospect it’s no surprise the phrase would come to mind (although I can think of a dozen or so Tom Waits tunes that would fit the bill quite well themselves). His lyrics and instrumentation have often painted scenes of quiet desperation, longing and pain, and this latest LP proves no exception. While The Letting Go stays the course thematically for the majority of the album’s path, Valgeir Sigurdsson’s production and the addition of strings and chamber orchestration give it an added layer of feeling that amplifies some of the elements at play here. Also new and noteworthy, is the welcome addition of Dawn McCarthy lending her voice to the harmonies that swell throughout the work. It’s as if The “Bonnie” Prince has found a New Partner. The album is available a week from today on the Drag City label.

MP3: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy :: Love Comes To Me
MP3: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy :: Cursed Sleep
Amazon: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – The Letting Go
+ Visit The Hype Machine for additional Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy MP3s.

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