Bonnie 'Prince' Billy | RUG461 | Released: 27/02/12
Rooted in the same dark earth as Wolfroy Goes to Town, the two songs that make up the “The B-Sides for “Time to be Clear”” 7” single reach higher peaks, as sides of singles always should.
Ever the trail-razer, Bonny hops into something funny here: a three-song 7” single with its head chopped off! Rather than try something silly like put the songs on a larger format (because who in their right mind would…um, that is -), the b-sides are accorded the space they need to rock and groove while the A-side exists in our head (and online, where space and sound ain’t an option, is they? hur!), an echo of the epic, endless album that was (and still is, kids!) Wolfroy Goes to Town.
Starting with a familiar weary tone and limping gait-lessness, “Whipped,” soon ascends to heights of emoting vocals not encountered throughout the entire album that preceded it. The comfy bob-and-strut of 21st century honky-tonk gives “Out-of-Mind” a sweet jukebox feeling, again creating a safe place for naked expression to occur in short order. Yes, the pleasures are fairly immense here, in the way that only two songs can provide.
These songs were recorded with the suddenly-ubiquitous Bonny crew of Ben Boye, Van Campbell, Emmett Kelly, Danny Kiely and Angel Olson. Both sides were recorded with David Ferguson, who brings his strong roots and subtle flair to the mix. Those of you with sharp eyes and ears may already know that David brought his extensive experiences to the Bonny-Sweeny 10” single of last summer “There Is No God.” David and Bonny go all the way back to the session ten years gone when Bonny was summoned to the Johnny Cash session where his own “I See a Darkness” was being recorded by the man himself. David was Cash’s main engineer then and his presence there was a calming and centering one to Bonny. The sweet and natural feel of the recordings they have made over the last couple years are a testament to their bond.
The cover drawing was supplied by the great American artist, publisher and aesthete, Sammy Harkham. Those of you who wear Bonny’s doo-rag know this image, as it is emblazoned on top of your head.
This is a single for now, today and every day of 2012. If this is our last year, let’s truly make it ours! And make “The B-Sides for “Time to be Clear”” yours, holmes.