Trembling Bells feat. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - The Marble Downs (3 stars)

Trembling Bells feat. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - The Marble Downs

New collaborator on band's eccentric psych-folk rock

(Honest Jons)

Over three albums in as many years, Trembling Bells have refined their heady mix of courtly psych-folk, Yorkshire country and colliery band jazz, losing some of their rickety charm, while gaining in dynamism and panache. For their latest, lead singer Lavinia Blackwell is given a new sparring partner in Will Oldham, a wolfy colonial aristocrat to her steely English rose. ‘I Can Tell You’re Leaving’ sees the pair trade barbs like a wordier Johnny Cash and June Carter over brisk rococo piano pop. Oldham’s vocals are highly mannered, situated somewhere between backwoods Kentucky and Vivian Stanshall’s Rawlinson End. Curiously, it works, lending a suitably fustian air to the band’s eccentric Renaissance rock. An intriguing start to what is hopefully an ongoing collaboration.

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