Bonnie “Prince” Billy, ‘Wolfroy Goes to Town’ (Drag City)
While labelmate and fellow prolific troubadour Bill ?Callahan grows more terse and taut, Will Oldham (or at least his songcraft) has become diffuse to the point of intangibility after 13 Bonnie “Prince” Billy albums. His supporting cast has stabilized around multi-instrumentalists Emmett Kelly and Shahzad Ismaily, but song structures dissolve altogether on Wolfroy Goes to Town. Most of the record crawls by quietly, like a wary hunter. At times, that approach leads to solemn, haunting folk harmonies (“New Whaling,” “Cows”). And when newcomer Angel ?Olson belts out, “Fuck birds in the bushes!” on the nimble “Quail and Dumplings,” it’s as loud as buckshot.