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Music Review

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Quail and Dumplings (single)


Artist: Bonnie “Prince” Billy
Domino Records
RRP: £2.99
Available 14 September 2011

With next month (October 2011) seeing the latest Bonnie “Prince” Billy album released, Wolfroy Goes to Town, Domino have released a download only 3 track single. 'Quail and Dumplings' from the album is backed with two unreleased tracks, 'Black Ice Cream' and 'E Iesu/ Maika'i No'.

Recording with what is fast becoming his house band, the Cairo Gang, and Shahzad Ismaily along with other members of his recent touring band. The sound is a continuation of the full rich polished sound of Lie Down in the Light and Beware after last year's relatively low-key folk of the brilliant The Wonder Show of the World.

After the upbeat title track 'Black Ice Cream' slows the pace down with a very conventional ballad sounding musically a lot like Tom Waits at his least experimental. It's pleasant enough “what we did when we were free was have a good time” but hopefully not an indication of Bonnie “Prince” Billy settling into a mellow middle age.

See the video on YouTube to hear the title track, a strange video set in Hawaii with a hirsute Kennan Gudjonsson standing in for Billy who oddly makes a cameo at the end. This Hawaiian setting links with the final song, a slow track sung entirely in Hawaiian. This is very disposable and not worth downloading if going the individual track route.

I'd recommend listening to 'Quail and Dumplings' on YouTube and downloading 'Black Ice Cream' then waiting until the release of the full album on 31 October 2011.

If you've never listened to Bonnie “Prince” Billy / Will Oldham before a better starting point would be the I see a Darkness / Superwolf / Viva Last Blues albums. You can thank me later.


Richard A Bennett

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Quail and Dumplings - Single - Bonnie
£2.37 (iTunes GB)
MP3 single

All prices correct at time of going to press.