Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Superwolves review

Not everything the world waits sixteen years for ends up being worth the anticipation: Godfather III springs to mind, but a similar yawning gap seems to have been of little worry to Matt Sweeney and Will Oldham (or Bonnie “Prince” Billy as we know him), with this also the space between their debut Superwolf and this, it’s follow up.

There’s plenty of mitigation of course, both men being serial collaborators and with Oldham in particular going through personal joy and pain in recent times. All this could’ve meant that Superwolves would be a rehashing of ancient ground with some token sounding nods to modernity, but the two are excellent foils, Sweeney’s arrangements veering from grunge to wispy folk, whilst the singer turns most things into beacons of the unexpected.

This makes for a ride made up of dark fascinations, although there are lighter touches, such as the jittering Tuareg guitar motifs provided by Ahmoudou Madassane of Mdou Moctar on Hall of Death. Frequently though we’re left with provocative juxtapositions such as the moral maze of Good To My Girls, or the autobiographical wistfulness of My Popsicle. In the end however it’s the bumptious simplicity of My Blue Suit that steals the show, one a long time coming, but full of devilish charms both old and new.

You can read the full review here.