Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Crown and Treaty

Sweet Billy Pilgrim - London-based '09 Mercury Prize recipients return with their third album of agile, sophisticated songs that find that sweet spot hovering between intricately layered indie/pop and loosely swinging art/rock...new member Jana Carpenter on guitar and vocals adds a nice harmony counterpoint to songwriter/ frontman Tim Elsenburg's tender warbly tenor // Release: Crown and Treaty (April 17 UK; US TBA) // Sounds like: a dramatic ramping up from the heady home-grown folk-tronica and sublime chamber pop of their earlier works for a larger, often abstract stylistic canvas...Elsenburg describes his new musical pallette as "bold strokes...less smudging...primary colors" and the desire to "let my imagination run riot" -- and there's no doubt that Crown succeeds as a defining -- and "crowning" -- moment for a band that's quietly become a bellwether for artful Brit bands pushing the boundaries...

Quote: "I wanted to talk about history, and the idea that we're all chained to it; all our ideas, actions, wants, needs... everything, are tied to what's gone before. We might not see it consciously but everything we do is coloured by the past, for better or worse, and to be able to break away you have to recognise it and make your peace. You have to crown it. Make a pact with it, and move on." - Tim Elsenburg // What we like: An adventurous prog/pop excursion, the reworked "Brugada" nimbly soars, dips and dives from jangly folk ode to dense, harmony-rich workout of cinematic scope (check out the extended instrumental break half-way through)...the soaring, richly harmonied eight-minute-plus hymn "Blue Sky Falls" (named for their studio "shed") closes the album on a heavenly high..."Kracklite" is a cool soulful shuffle driven by a lazy bassline and some remarkable chord progressions...

Sweet Billy Pilgrim - "Joyful Reunion" (from Crown and Treaty) (Watch the video below...)

Sweet Billy Pilgrim - "Brugada" (from Crown and Treaty)