It’s a tale as old as tyme. Boy meets girl. American folk artist meets Scottish folk band. New audiences meet amazing transatlantic folk collabo. And this round, it’s the Will Oldham and Trembling Bells edition. I’d reckon you city slickers know a thing or two about Will Oldham a.k.a. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy a.k.a the guy who was inexplicably in that Kanye West video a few years ago. But, you may be asking, “Can you tell me a little bit more about these Trembling Bells fellas?” Answer: YES. According to the band’s Myspace, Trembling Bells “are Alex Neilson’s song-based group who seek to reanimate the psychic landscapes of Great Britain and relocate them to some vague, mythic land where basic human crises are encountered and conquered.” Okay guys, in America we just call that a Renaissance Festival.
Neilson and Co. call up memories of traditional British folk music in all its lilting majesty, Lady of Shalott-lookin’ dresses, and FALCON HUNTING glory. (Come on, Renaissance people loooooved falcon hunting.) And now, after a fortuitous encounter while working on Alasdair Roberts’ 2005 album No Earthly Man, they’re calling it up with America’s very own Will Oldham! The album resulting from the sessions, The Marble Downs, is due for an April 9 release in the UK via the venerable Honest Jon’s label. Honest Jon’s is allowing fans to peep a sample of this folking awesome collaboration through an eight-song EP called Duchess, available through the label website. The eight songs are unique to the EP, but half of them were culled from the same sessions as The Marble Downs. The other tracks include what seems to be acapella folking around (sorry, I meant “folk singing”) and a Scott Walker cover or two.
• Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy: http://www.bonnieprincebilly.com
• Trembling Bells: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trembling-Bells/256466514334
• Honest Jon’s: http://honestjons.com