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Sweet Billy Pilgrim: Their first material in four years.

Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Skywriting

Sweet Billy Pilgrim have released their first material in four years with new single, Skywriting. The band, now a duo comprising multi-instrumentalists Jana Carpenter and Tim Elsenburg, will release a new album, Somapolis on November 4 via Republic of Music.

Skywriting is the final track on what the British prog-poppers describe as a concept album. «It begins with two people looking out over a nameless metropolis», say the duo. «They are artists, their job being to observe, curate and commemorate the world around them. The first song explores the experience of creating before we swoop down into the individual stories of the people living in the city; a sort-of Wings Of Desire, but with artists instead of angels. Then, towards the end, the album zooms back out to the observers for the final two songs, finishing – depending on the listener – on either a note of hope or resignation».

«Skywriting sees us singing a hymn to the city, in the (possibly vain) hope that we’ll be heard and that something can be learned from simply bearing witness».

The pair recorded the new songs at Elsenburg’s House in Buckinghamshire and by the sea in Eastbourne. It saw them collaborating with additional musicians including a one-woman folk choir, a horn section and Brandon Flowers’ drummer, Darren Beckett. Musically, it takes inspiration from Prefab Sprout, Steely Dan and Peter Gabriel, as well as St Vincent, Prince and Jon Hopkins.

Elsenburg says, «Over the years – in terms of critical perception – we’ve been edging towards some kind of progressive art-pop thing I want Somapolis to be more than that: it feels like a culmination of all our skills, obsessions, neuro-divergence/convergence, insecurities, ambitions and love.  So, yes, it’s a concept album, and there’s plenty to unravel for post-lockdown brains, but it also feels a bit more physical. People might not be able to actually dance to it, but for the first time, they might be able to imagine dancing to it».

Sweet Billy Pilgrim signed to Kscope in 2015 to release Motorcade Amnesiacs, which was followed by Wapentak on Deco Audio in 2018. The duo also popped up on Spirit of Talk Talk’s 2020 charity single, I Don’t Believe In You, and the track I`m Asking For A Friend, from the album Wapentak.

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About Ulf Backstrøm (7405 Articles)
Mitt hovedfokus er musikk som er basert på progressiv tenking. Jeg er på ingen måte ensporet innen musikksmak, i likhet med intensjonen bak prog. Sjangerbegrepet er egentlig temmelig uinteressant annet enn til å gi en pekepinn om hva slags musikk det er snakk om i en anmeldelse. Jeg søker god musikk for å utfordre meg som lytter. God musikk til å trigge mine musikalske smaksløker, og til å sette i gang mine refleksjoner. Da er sjansen stor for at jeg utvikler meg og lærer, noe som bør være drivstoff for et hvert menneske. Fordi det å lære og utvikle seg er noe som tilfører livet en nødvendig porsjon "krydder". Slikt krydderet finner man blant annet i musikk. Ikke overraskende mener jeg at progressiv musikk har den fineste "smaken". På den annen side kan musikk med eller uten progressive elementer være godt nok til hverdags. Til fest derimot holder bare rendyrket prog! Må jo også få med at jeg rimelig kritisk, og jeg mener at det lages mye prog som er i beste fall uinteressant, og faktisk mye som er pinlig dårlig. Heldigvis oppveies dette av ekstremt dyktige aktører som for eksempel: Flower Kings, Mostly Autumn og White Willow, for å nevne noen tilfeldig valgte.
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