Thee Conductor talk Bonnie “Prince” Billy collab single “Big Man”

Post Author: Myles Hunt

The Austin indie folk band’s new album Ennoia arrives Feb. 9 via Spaceflight Records

Happy start to 2024! And what better way than to jump into some new tunes by way of Austin, Texas thanks to the folk group Thee Conductor from Spaceflight Records. Their latest single “Big Man”, from their upcoming album Ennoia – out Feb. 9 (pre-order HERE) – welcomes music fans back into the fold and away from the cacophony of holiday playlists. An added bonus is the collaborative magic fueled by none other than Bonnie “Prince” Billy. It is a refreshing dip into the hopes of another annual music season that will offer more opportunities for fans far and wide.

“Big Man” initially sounds like a rock ballad, but it soon bumps out into a proud folk anthem on first listen. It is wonderfully catchy with a pleasant massage to the ears. Everything seems so smooth, from the vocal harmonies to the exquisite instrumentation. Listeners feel too cool for school with this track. One could be in a corner Italian sandwich shop jamming to this as confident as can be. The suave persona of this tune matches a rumble-tumble energy that is begging for subtle confrontation. Will fans embrace this in 2024 with all of its endless unknowns? An emphatic yes may be the correct answer. Be the big man, and listen well and often. If fans need more convincing, just read on for what the band had to say.

Happy New Year! What are some of the themes you all hope to showcase with your tunes in 2024? 

We are excited to finally be releasing the album – been working on it for a couple of years now.  We hope that our record will capture the ear of a listener in some kinda way…sonically, [vocals and the lyrics].

Collaboration seems to work well, especially with “Big Man,” how was that process for you all? Any wholesome or difficult moments?

Continuing our work with Will Oldham (Bonnie “Prince” Billy) brings a lot of joy to the process. His vulnerable voice instrument is incomparable and mighty special. Chicagoan Jeremy Lemos, currently known for his live sound work (Sonic YouthWilcoMavis StaplesRun The Jewels, etc), added interesting soundscape layers/sound manipulation to Big Man which you can hear throughout the track. The process was entirely wholesome and absent of difficulty.

What was a hurdle that you all had to tackle during the creation of this new body of work? How did you solve it?

No real hurdle aside from aspects of the pandemic and the limits that created for most everyone. One song in particular off the new record called “Change Is Earned” took a while to figure out…The percussion and drum sounds we toiled with over a period of time. We attempted three to four approaches before landing on the final sound which ended up being drum looping from an organ you may find in an old church. Those fat buttons with pre-programmed drumming.

What hopes do you all have for the future as a whole? Any collective aspirations you want to share?

The record comes out February 9, so going forward for the remainder of the year we’d like to perform a couple of times, continue to enjoy the release of the new record and new music video for “Big Man,” then lay low until the next batch of songs appears organically – Thus starting the entire process over again.

What advice do you wish you had before going into this business would you share to a new musician?

Approach music as an art project and not as a business.