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The Letting Go

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Will Oldham, aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy, writes, records and performs music with an ear towards the unexpected, welcoming the ‘mistake,’ the serendipitous moment that no amount of rehearsal can replicate. It’s made for moments of unparalleled beauty and haphazard cacophony. His creaky voice doesn’t always find the note it’s looking for, but when it does the effect is chilling. Once known for ‘lo-fi’ recordings, in recent years Oldham has expanded his sonic palette without sacrificing intimacy. The Letting Go was recorded in Reykjavik, Iceland with local string players and a small core of musicians who keep the fuss to a minimum but still manage to create an epic grandeur within this miniature (“Cursed Sleep”). Dawn McCarthy’s harmony vocals add an ethereal tone to these quiet, near Elizabethan melodies. “Love Comes to Me,” “Wai” and “No Bad News “ have a dream-like, half-remembered feel to them, sounding like adult nursery rhymes from a distant past. Though Oldham warns about “Turning the heart into something hard and dark,” it is precisely this gift of providing a light to such darkness that makes his music so entrancing and disarming.


Born: 24 December 1970 in Louisville, KY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After his stints performing as Palace, Palace Songs, Palace Brothers, and under his own name throughout the '90s, by the end of the decade Will Oldham seemed to finally settle on the Bonnie "Prince" Billy moniker as the main outlet for his work. Regardless of the name he used to release his music or the musicians supporting him, Oldham's style remained largely the same, pitting shambling and often sparse music against his creaky, world-weary voice and literate lyrics. The Louisville, Kentucky native...
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The Letting Go, Bonnie "Prince" Billy
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