Oh God Ma'am, the latest LP from central Virginia's band of brothers, Sons of Bill, is the band's most coherent artistic statement to date- subtle, risky, and sonically ambitious. Recorded both in Seattle with west coast indie legend Phil Ek (Shins, Fleet Foxes) and in Nashville with Sean Sullivan (Sturgill Simpson) and mixed by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol) the album shows the Wilson brothers moving beyond the galvanic americana-rock comfort zone of previous efforts, for a more elegant and restrained sound- a darker, and more complexly layered rock record that manages to be the band's most emotionally intimate and sonically expansive. Insistent, dancey rhythms and dreamy, hook-filled, pyrotechnics abound, creating a deceptively anthemic mood around songs that are in and of themselves intensely introverted.
Sons of Bill essentially make roots music in the best sense of the term. For a modern genre that is often more sartorial than musical, Oh God Ma'am is the timely antidote- excavating the vast annals of traditional and popular music to craft a rare and refreshing album of nuance and depth in a confusing and overstimulated age. it's a soundtrack of love and survival- in a time when it is a triumph to simply survive.
Oh God Ma'am is a coming-of-age record for an over-stimulated age- equal parts post-adolescent anxiety and old-soul humility- literate, gorgeous, and darkly contemplative.