Bleeding on the Soundtrack is a new album from William the Conqueror, set for release on 15th February via Loose. Today the trio share album teaser The Curse of Friends which is described by frontman Ruarri Joseph as a song about “a leopard trying to change its spots”. Aptly the track features Ethan Johns, who produced the album, on guitar adding what Joseph refers to as “sick slide all over the track.”
It is the second teaser track taken from Bleeding on the Soundtrack following the release of the album’s title track, available to stream now on Spotify, which offered American fans a sneak album preview ahead of the band’s recent performance at this year’s AmericanaFest, Nashville.
Bleeding on the Soundtrack is the second album from William the Conqueror following 2017’s Proud Disturber of the Peace. Both form parts of a trilogy of autobiographical records capturing different periods in Joseph’s life. Whilst the joyous debut celebrated a free and easy childhood spent in idyllic Cornwall (where Joseph now once again resides), Bleeding on the Soundtrack is a darker more disturbed foray into adolescence then adulthood. A tale of addiction, divorce and crossroads.
The trilogy idea was inspired by Hermann Hesse’s book My Belief which housed three separate essays on innocence, disillusionment and faith with Bleeding on the Soundtrack undoubtedly representing the disillusionment period. Whilst personal song-writing has always been part of Joseph’s music from his beginnings as a solo singer-songwriter signed to Atlantic Records, separating from his own name and identity to form a three-piece (alongside Harry Harding on drums and Naomi Homes on bass) has allowed Joseph a space and distance to delve deeper. The song-writing of William the Conqueror is more honest, raw and sorrowful but laced with an acerbic humour giving even the most troubled songs a cathartic energy, as Joseph explains: “That’s what Bleeding on the Soundtrack is – it’s not leaving anything out, digging deep to try and cleanse myself of it all.”
The shift has led the way to bolder lyrics but also a bolder musicality. The exact sound of William the Conqueror is hard to pinpoint. The songs have an old soul with moments of blues and dark Americana leading to heavier Southern rock and merged with the more youthful glow of indie-rock and grunge – apt given Joseph’s disillusionment period was spent immersed in the music of Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan.
Bleeding on the Soundtrack was recorded over twelve days at Real World Studios, Wiltshire and its boundless and at times joyous sound was no doubt aided by the perfect partnership of William the Conqueror and producer Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, Laura Marling, The Jayhawks).
10. Within Your Spell
Following a triumphant summer of festival appearances in the UK and a performance at this year’s AmericanaFest, William the Conqueror are currently on tour and play The Water Rats, London tomorrow. Full tour dates below:
30th November: The Old Bakery, Truro
Bleeding on the Soundtrack will be released on 15th February 2019 via Loose and available on CD, vinyl and digitally.
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