Sent in by Billy Riordan, Billy you da man!
“There’s a black tinted sunset with the prettiest of skies. Lay back, lay back, rest your head on my thighs”
Those opening lyrics to this track courtesy of Will Oldham aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy are letting you know that we’re talkin’ about some positively countrified Americana rock here. Not my usual cup of tea. What first caught me though were the lyrics – hearing things like “deed so exquisitely grand”, “special action with motives unclear” and “payment which precludes the having of fun” in the first two verses keeps the mind occupied while steel guitar, twanged-out vocals and a brooding pace plug along while you’re not looking. When the story gets to…
“Now the sun’s fading faster, we’re ready to go
There’s a skirt in the bedroom that’s pleasantly low”
… you realize that this slow-ass tune is going somewhere.
The final 40 seconds of the track are a simple refrain of the chorus, but a bit louder, a bit more passionate and punctuated by the background organ a bit more. Everything the same. Just a bit more. All the sudden, the listener (me), who doesn’t much care for country, and loves him some Stereolab and the like, asks himself, “Where the fuck did these goose bumps come from, and why do I feel like moving to Kentucky?”
Sucked in by clever and out of place lyrics and then smashed over the head with a steel guitar by an Appalachian twang-artist who has snuck up on you! Damn you Bonnie “Prince Billy. Damn you.
New Partner 3:04 – 3:44
From Viva Last Blues, released through Drag City Records in 1995.