Billy In The Lowground
The song is in essence a complaint about the ‘Nu-folk’ genre that proliferated a couple of years back. It contains references to folk songs, Billy in the Lowground, Alan Bane (an extraordinary song concerning a hanging), and the Woody Guthrie song Belle Starr.
It’s not an anti-folk song it’s anti the recent folky movement and particularly how we were often and unfairly portrayed in that way, I think a lot of people missed some very obvious musical reference points for the opportunity to shovel us into some movement so they don’t have to think too hard about.
It’s not a very nice song, it’s driven by disdain towards certain bands, who in my opinion, cynically played on the genre and came out of it successful. It’s also a slightly bitter about our own non-achievement. Being slightly naïve as I suppose we all are when we start out, you can find yourself being filled up by the false promises and misplaced faith in people, you grow up quickly in the face of that.
It’s healthy to write cathartically like this, I wanted to go some way to setting the record straight about what kind of band we are.
I wanted the song to sound huge and chaotic but with a really tight incessant rhythm section running through it. The drum part, the basis of which was written by Jim while demoing, has that great scattergun snare that keeps the song moving. The string score by Jake is influenced by 60’s psychedelic pop and that with the distorted 12-string guitar in instrumental breaks in the middle and at the end I think it sounds pretty possessed.