Matt Sweeney and Bonnie “Prince” Billy shared a mellow new single named “My Blue Suit” with a video directed by Geoff McFetridge. It’s the latest track released in advance of their upcoming collaboration Superwolves, which is due April 30 via Drag City. They also announced a few tour dates in Big Sur, Sonoma and Malibu, California for this June. It’ll be their first tour since 2014 at some of the first sites they played at together.
“You look better in my blue suit/Than I do,” Bonnie “Prince” Billy sings over Sweeney’s guitar picking. It’s a simple but sweet song that is full of love and sung with a charm that compares with older folk legends like Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen.
The video features life-sized cardboard cutouts of people resting in various places. Many are out in nature under blue skies and sunsets, but others are alone in their homes or sitting on sidewalks. There’s a sense of solitude and peacefulness in equal measure, caught in constant motion on camera even though the figures themselves don’t move.
McFetridge spoke about how the video came about, “I started this video by painting. The work I created, in response to the song, was large scale figures I could use in scenes filmed on camera. All the images in the film are done in camera, there are no digital effects. The graphic sequences were done with paintings wrapped around a garbage can placed on a Techniques 1200 turntable. The tools used to create the effects were knives, glue, paint and tape. The pieces created for the film are nearly life size portraits done with acrylic on paper. These works, the film and the animated elements will be shown in the project space of Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto, opening May 1st.”
Superwolves is shaping up to be a somewhat eclectic album with this calm folk piece following the mysterious lead single “Make Worry for Me” and the Tishoumaren-inspired “Hall of Death” featuring renowned Tuareg musician Mdou Moctar. It’s Sweeney and Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s second collaboration album after 2005’s Superwolf, which saw the pair at a very different phase of their careers. A previously-unreleased song from the Superwolf-era called “You’ll Get Eaten, Too” surfaced about a year ago, while they were working on the new album.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy had already established himself as a new folk icon when Superwolf came out, between his ‘90s Palace Music releases and his albums I See a Darkness (1999), Ease Down the Road (2001) and Master and Everyone (2003). He’s proved himself to be a consistently respected act since then, but has also branched out his sound and become more collaborative in turn.
In 2005, Matt Sweeney was still best known as the frontman for short-lived post-hardcore band Chavez. With Superwolf he proved himself very capable as a folk musician as well. Early this year, he returned with five tracks made in collaboration with popular video game Red Dead Redemption 2.
Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy Tour Dates
6/7 – Big Sur, CA – Henry Miller Memorial Library
6/8 – Big Sur, CA – Henry Miller Memorial Library
6/10 – Sonoma, CA – Gundlach Bundschu Winery
6/13 – Malibu, CA – Dry Gulch Ranch