Will Oldham is a songwriter and actor who lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Performing as himself, Palace Brothers, or Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Oldham has released more than twenty studio albums, along with EPs, singles, and music for film and television.
As his book SONGS OF LOVE AND HORROR is released, he will be reading and performing on stage at CoffeeTree Books on Thursday, September 12, from 6-7pm.
For the last three decades, singer-songwriter Will Oldham, aka “Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy,” has built an expansive repertoire of lyrics and music that defy categorization and won him fans worldwide. Now, for the first time, his work is gathered in one breathtaking volume, SONGS OF LOVE AND HORROR: Collected Lyrics of Will Oldham.
This magnificent collection gives listeners insight into Oldham’s artistry and character. Spanning the full arc of his career, SONGS OF LOVE AND HORROR serves as a timely retrospective of Oldham’s songwriting.
“The primary intention of these works is to provide platforms (or excuses) to commune with others: with people I love, musicians I revere, and audiences who feel similarly desperate for connection,” says Oldham.
Throughout the book, Oldham has annotated the songs, providing his personal spin and reflection on the work, and showcasing a songwriting and literary presence that is both candid and wise. Some notes tell a story about how certain lyrics came into being. Some state who a particular song was written for. And some are clues to Oldham’s thinking about the creative process.
“If you are endeavoring to begin a life in songs, remember that you are writing your future and take great care with it. A song can help transform wild optimism into blessed reality. One of the benefits of aging is the prerogative to stop fighting,” adds Oldham.
Reading SONGS OF LOVE AND HORROR, fans and newcomers alike will find a poet and writer with great range, with lyrics that are philosophical as well as warm and open. There are songs about love (“Big Friday,” “Lay and Love,” “Lift Us Up,” “Love Streams,” and “Joy and Jubilee” are among the highlights), children’s ditties (for example, “Death in the Sea”), so-called nonsense songs (“I Send My Love to You”), and songs that obsess about the collision of deep love and deep horror (such as “Old Jerusalem” and “I See a Darkness”).
Emotionally riveting, intelligent, and warm, SONGS OF LOVE AND HORROR is a spectacular portrait of an artist who has captured poetry in music to say what we can’t say otherwise. This volume preserves an extraordinary body of work that will dazzle longtime fans and new listeners alike.
CoffeeTree Books is located at 159 East Main Street, Morehead, Kentucky. For more information about this event or others, please stop by or call 606-784-8364.
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(provided by CoffeeTree Books)