Bonny "Prince" Billy & Marquis de Tren | RUG514 | Released: 15/04/13
It's been a long road through time and other things from "Get On Jolly" to "Solemns," but suffice to say, thirteen and some increasingly endless years later, the Bonnie 'Prince' and the Marquis de Tren have not only sat down for another royal audience with each other, but have also several reports from their sessions to share with all of us.
That their paths managed to converge after all this long was both incredible and yet inevitable - after all, the 'Prince' had over the years received compliments about "Get On Jolly" in the oddest places. And they were the oddest compliments, at that...it led him to wonder. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the Marquis sat in front of his easel, rending the world as he saw fit. With every year that passed, his admiration of "Jolly" EP had only grown. Would it surprise anyone to know that the missive that restarted it all bore the MdT seal? Or that the correspondence, once followed upon, was nonetheless burned in Bonny's hearth by night's end?
Dream on, suckers.
History was reversed with "Solemns" though - instead of collabing ideas at a distance, which was how "Get On Jolly" was rolled (and which is, of course, much easier today than it was back in the good ol' pre-millennial times of "Get On Jolly"), they met in the same room. Face to face, nose to solar plexus, the 'Prince' and the Marquis unfurled the scroll together, with Tren Bro Jim White rumbling and banging things and playing drums, and Bonny gang crew Van Campbell, Emmett Kelly and Angel Olsen adding invaluable dimensions to the moments. It happened during the summer of 2012 on the one day it could, during a break between Bonny and Marqie D tour obligations, at last in the same hemisphere again - and thanks to local libations, all on the same level. The musical tapestry was strange and unchanged and yet thoroughly evolved from the olden times. But what words to float over the sensuously lapping wave phantasms of Tren's? In the days of "Get On Jolly," the 'Prince' reached for something to inspire a bit of verse - Rabinadranath Tagore's classic tome of pomes, Gitanjali. Of course! Every household had a copy on their bathroom shelf back in the queer ol' 90s. And the adapted words Bonny used suited the Marquis' gentle sighs a treat! For "Solemns," something equally curious, intense and deep was needed, a thing that seemed to come from the earth itself; words to sooth for peace but also cause oceans of gore to spill forth. In the end, there was no other document that could be used but to cull from Biblical Psalms. This cuts down on publishing woes too - public domain, you see? The mechanicals are just between them and their god.
In the end, the intensity could only last for three songs - any much more might have caused blood to rise and the sun to boil, and both the Marquis and the Bonnie 'Prince' like their sun slowly rising, not falling upon them. So they did their songs of music and etched the b-side and here it is. Let the philosophers stone up and take the measure of their words and music. The rest is up to them, and us, and you.