bonnie ‘prince’ billy – the letting go

a strange form of life, kicking through windows, rolling on yards

part one

this is part one because i have decided to follow-up tomorrow with the retakes version of this album, wai notes. they are so closely connected that it makes sense.

this comes from the bedroom community mob in iceland, previously having picked up sam amidon with valgeir sigurðsson and nico muhly. there’s also jim white of dirty three, and you only really hear his characteristic drumming on the hidden track right at the end. join-ed is dawn mccarthy.

i think i blocked out the mix’tapes’ i made for the guys i’ve been with, but i believe on at least two that strange form of life appeared, as a kind of self-conscious/aware move on my part to acknowledge that i knew i would never be the normal form of life. and they knew it. there rested the problem – to the men i have been with, i served experimental purpose. i wasn’t like any other woman they had known.

an album like this makes me appreciate that though – not that i ever don’t. it is spectacularly beautiful and embodies all of my who, what and why. and in all honesty, this was the last time i fully absorbed an album by the bonnie prince and felt part of myself in it.

i was thinking about this in a different way last night though. i seem to have three ages of music clearly delineating in the collection. i’ll write more on this in bigger things over the weekend, because it’s a broader theory of my music appreciation. the letting go marks the end of the second era. it was a high point; then it changed.

there’s something that feels kind of volcanic about lay and love, one of the best songs on here amongst many excellent others. from what i’ve seen, you’re magnificent; you fight evil with all you do. it is perhaps one of the most gorgeous love songs amongst every song i know. reverence. respect. love. a little bit of insecurity. i have a feeling from what i do, that you might lay there and love me too.

then there’s the seedling, which here feels slightly awkward compared to the purely acoustic version that came of an early daytrotter session (which contains one of the most amazing quotes that i’ll get to in a future post). it’s the weirdest thing amidst pure splendour.

thusly, followed by then the letting go, which brings the feeling of standing waist deep in gently lapping warm shallow ocean with only a full moon overhead and a quiet breeze whistling past one’s ears (even though the song speaks of winter). the invocation is local and yet somehow universal. it’s that solitary moment as you look out into seeming nothingness and realise you are truly alone in your mind.

i don’t believe i had thought consciously of this album as one of best here until now. as i listen to it, i re-evaluate. i feel the closure it gave me when i needed it. i feel the expanse it also opened up.

when i was quiet, well i heard your voice in everything; and i called you back to a place beside me


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