Bill Wells has collaborated with many fine artists over the years, in a rich variety of musical styles, most recently on an excellent pair of albums made with Aidan Moffat. His new long player, credited to Bill Wells & Friends, features a whole host of great names together on one record - Yo La Tengo, Deerhoof, Isobel Campbell, Annette Peacock, Syd Straw, Karen Mantler and Bridget St John among them. Oh, and did I mention that the whole shebang is produced by Teenage Fanclub 's Norman Blake? The LP is called 'Nursery Rhymes' and yes, it does what it says on the tin. 15 traditional children's songs, or at least what are popularly considered to be children's songs, are stripped of their sugar-coating in an effort to reveal the dark heart of the matter that lies beneath. The results are often bleak, sometimes unsettling and occasionally the stuff of nightmares. I've only had 'Nursery Rhymes' for a couple of days and in that time I've listened to little else. I've also taken to sleeping with the light on. Highly recommended.
Listen to the whole album here.
As a bonus, I can't possibly mention Bill's collaborations with Aidan Moffat without playing the masterpiece that is 'The Copper Top'. Birth, love and death - the only reasons to get dressed up.