Boomkat Product Review:
Bonnie "Prince" Billy's latest is a charmed, homespun folk companion that ranks alongside the minimal and affecting 'Master and Everyone', if we're keeping score.
Will Oldham is a prolific guy. When he's not penning delicate Americana as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy he's collaborating, acting (his turn in Kelly Reichardt's 'Old Joy' is well worth checking), or doing voiceover work. 'Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You' is the Louisville-born artist's umpteenth studio album, and it's incredible he's managed to keep up the momentum. If his early records like 'I See A Darkness' and 'Ease Down the Road' were critical smashes, his later recordings haven't exactly soured the audience. Oldham's songwriting, stark, bold and deeply personal, isn't something you lose taste for, and while his music might lack production fireworks, it's got enough layered storytelling and harmonic complexity to keep us coming back.
'Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You' doesn't break the form, keeping things stark from the beginning. 'Like it or Not' is gruff voiced and restrained, expanding dramatically when Lousiville vocalist Dane Waters adds her honeyed tones on the chorus, and Sara Louise Callaway and Elizabeth Fuschsia step in with strings. 'Bananas' gives us the first clear highlight though, a brief, tender love song with a chorus that sounds as if it's been lifted from an FM radio in the distant past. 'Blood of the Wine' is a tickly Americana gem that might as well be an Appalachian standard, and 'Willow, Pine and Oak' stands tall, a darker moment for Oldham that descends into silence, before fading into the droney (and thematically related) 'Trees of Hell'.
Reliably, predictably great.