Bill Fay releases “Salt Of The Earth,” a new single from Countless Branches, his new album out January 17th on Dead Oceans. It’s not a cover of the Rolling Stones tune of the same name but it would be a corker if it was…possibly.
It follows the “staggeringly beautiful” (Stereogum) lead single/video “Filled With Wonder Once Again” and “Love Will Remain,” a “spare, elegant, pretty thing” which Stereogum said “sounds like wisdom.”
Featuring a serene Fay at his most hopeful – retaining the awestruck, inquisitive feel of his early songs – the song is accompanied by a Miles Johnson edited video that includes the first footage of Fay performing since his 2012 Later… with Jools Holland appearance.
His third release for the label, alike previous acclaimed recordings Life Is People (2012) and Who Is The Sender? (2015), was produced by Joshua Henry – with the cast list slimmed down from previous sessions. Guitarist Matt Deighton remains as Fay’s trusted MD and the musicians have mostly all played on Fay’s albums in the past. But both Henry and Fay thought that, this time, there should be more of Bill on his own at the piano, or with minimal accompaniment.
It’s at the piano, alongside some rudimentary home recording equipment, where Bill has been composing music in the intervening decades between his first and most-recent album at every chance he could get.
His newest songs, alike his older material, evoke landscapes, ancient and sacred places, as their author traverses the outdoors to marvel at it all. And he is doing it all from that corner of his room at the piano, while the word about his work continues to grow and spread like so many branches. For decades now, Bill Fay’s songs have been his ambassadors.
While still reluctant to play live or make public appearances, Fay’s resolve and his purity shine through the work and make him a special artist, finding his wider world from that corner of the room – and long may he continue to do so.