Single Review: Bonnie “Prince” Billy – At The Back of The Pit

Bonnie “Prince” Billy stays busy. We know this. This is something that comes as no surprise. In the past five years he has released albums of previously-recorded songs by Susanna Wallumrod, Mekons, Merle Haggard; a collaborative record with Bitchin Bajas! And hell, even himself!!

The only thing he hasn’t done is a new album of Bonnie “Prince” Billy originals. The last one was 2011’s Wolfroy Goes To Town. Hence November 14th 2019 sees the release of new album I Made A Place.

The first release from the new LP is the single ‘At The Back of The Pit’. The video was directed by high school senior Jacob Forman and can be seen below. The track itself is a Dixieland inspired romp with several layers of brass accompaniment which starts with “Where do we put our precious things like woollen socks and wedding rings”. The whole track is a tongue in cheek paean to the current state of the world with references to ‘repopulation’ and ‘when the bombs hit’.

It’s not one of BPB’s most upbeat songs, but it’s certainly not the least. With ‘I see a darkness’, BPB is responsible for one of THE most hard hitting and (ultimately) depressing songs ever written, so anything more upbeat than that masterpiece will be a bonus!

Again, it’s tongue in cheek from BPB, yet its song structure and intent is deserving of respect. It has absorbed the classic Dixieland influences and is invariably a right romp. How seriously you want to take is as a listener is your decision. Either way, it’s a cracking tune and sign of good stuff coming from BPB in the near future.

Here’s to the new LP!

Review by Ioan Humphreys

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