J.TILLMAN returns in September 2009 with “YEAR IN THE KINGDOM”, his sublime new album on Bella Union records…
“Year In The Kingdom” unravels some kind of galactic wilderness… J.Tillman’s sixth album lyrically borders on the mystic; proffering a transcendent union. Strange and honest, this song cycle inhabits it’s own idea-scape; one seemingly obsessed with wrestling death. These are afterlife dialogues of a mysterious future. Celestial badlands.
Unknown to just about everyone, Tillman started recording in April during some Fleet Foxes downtime, tracking most of the instruments during the two week session himself. Hammered dulcimer, banjo, recorder, cymbals of varying size and wheezing air organs all feature heavily and lend “Year in The Kingdom” it’s unusual scale, conjuring tidal shifts with tiny movements. The string arrangements, performed by Jenna Conrad and transposed from Tillman’s sung direction, were intended to rest on chords almost counter-intuitively, bringing to bloom complex, de-contextualized tones. Most noticeable upon first listen, however, is the production itself. While most of Tillman’s records evidence some shambolic home recording, YITK is undisturbed throughout. Out up front of the mix Tillman’s voice is featured in a way unlike any of his previous records.
“Year In The Kingdom” sounds liberated; it is far and away Tillman’s most joyful work. Created with little input or context, it is seemingly disinterested in communicating much else than a meditation for the few who allow themselves to listen with an open heart.
Year in the Kingdom is released in September on bella union.
Check out new tracks on his myspace here.