John Bills 100: 95

Posted on July 21, 2015

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95: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy // I See A Darkness (1999)

In a slightly dark but fairly apt introduction to Mr Billy, I first heard his work whilst watching a documentary called ‘Invisible’ during a night shift in Belgrade, in 2012. The documentary focused on five adults in the capital of Sofia who had varying degrees of addiction to heroin, and the various fates that befell them. Needless to say, the song that was featured (Death to Everyone) fit perfectly, which might be all you need to know about this album.

Still, whether it makes you sad or not, the songs included are wonderful form start to finish. The aforementioned Death to Everyone is the highlight, a song every bit as brooding and dark as a song with such a title demands. This isn’t a record to throw on at a party by any means, unless those means are your particularly melancholy friends. There are moments of brightness that shine through however, as miserable as the subject matter might be. I See A Darkness, the album’s title-track, somehow sounds optimistic throughout, as does the fragile hope (eurgh) of opener A Minor Place. 

Good songs are good songs, regardless of whether they are songs about how awesome life is or about how everyone should probably die. This is an album full of great songs.

Listen: Death to Everyone, I See A Darkness

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