Sunday, February 5, 2023

Billy Nomates - CACTI


A bit more than two years back I chose the first, eponymous Billy Nomates album as my second favourite album of the year. I thought she was going to take on the world and quite possibly better it. She seemed to have the world at her feet. She had everything I want from an artist.. Attitude, tunes lyrics. A young Patti Smith.

Since then what? for Billy, (and I'm going to call her that), her arrival coincided with the arrival of Covid-19 and Lockdown. It wasn't the best time for a new artist to emerge. Arlo Parks did the same, and moped about the fact that she was being denied her rightful acclaim and fame publicly. Arlo, judging by Collapsed in Sunbeams was clearly a bit of a moper. Even if she tried to sell herself as an empath. But she ended up landing a major slot on a major stage at Glastonbury last year and cheered up visibly. What of Billy? She was clearly not a moper. How would she fare?

Judging by her second album, CACTI which came out a couple of weeks ago, she's in rude health indeed. I can't say my relationship with the record started promisingly. I didn't like the cover and I always struggle with a new record where I don't like the cover. It's like deciding to go out with someone new when you don't really like their face.

Still things after a couple of weeks with CACTI are altogether more promising. I've played it a few times and liked it more each time. And though I'll never like it as much as I like Billy Nomates and it certainly won't end up as my second favourite record of 2023, (there are quite a few that I like more already), it's certainly got a lot going for it.

Tunes for starters. They're more complex than the ones on her debut and ultimately possibly have more long term potential. She seems to have moved from the evening show radio slots and be looking for daytime play. Nothing wrong with that. I like daytime radio, so long as it retains its brain cells.

This certainly has brain cells. Billy is perhaps a little less confrontational these days. She certainly doesn't sound like she's cohabiting with Sleaford Mods, who were incredibly supportive of her in her early days. Probably for the best. She's playing in my neck of the woods soon. Might just go and see her. Good for Billy. This will take her further.

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