Teenage Fanclub, Deerhoof & more collaborate w/ Bill Wells on ‘Nursery Rhymes’ (listen to “3 Blind Mice” w/ Yo La Tengo)
by Bill Pearis
Scottish musician Bill Wells has played in a number of groups over the years, most notably his own improvisational jazz combo, the Bill Wells Octet, and The National Jazz Trio Of Scotland. He’s also worked with a host of indie rock bands, such as The Pastels, Future Pilot AKA, Isobel Campbell, Jad Fair, Arab Strap man Aidan Moffat and more.
His new album, Nursery Rhymes, finds him taking on kids song standards — “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “Hickory Dickory Dock,” “Ring Around The Rosie” — as collaborations with a host of cool people, including Yo La Tengo, Isobel Campbell, Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake, Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki, Hospitality’s Amber Papini, and more. That’s the artwork above and the full tracklist is below.
This isn’t a kids album, however, as Wells applies his sparse, melodic style to the familiar songs. He elaborates:
They should be quite disturbing. Because ultimately part of the remit of a nursery rhyme was to give your child some of the harsh realties of life, while sugar-coating them with a catchy little melody. But I’m losing that coating and going straight to the nub of the thing.
We’ve got the premiere of “Three Blind Mice,” which is a collaboration with Yo La Tengo and NY jazz musician Karen Mantler. You can stream it below.
Bill Wells & Friends’ Nursury Rhymes is out November 20 via Karaoke Kalk.
Bill Wells & Friends – Nursery Rhymes tracklist
1. Three Blind Mice Featuring Karen Mantler And Yo La Tengo
2. Polly Put The Kettle On Featuring Isobel Campbell And Amy Allison
3. Humpty Dumpty Featuring Amber Papini And Yo La Tengo
4. Shoo Fly Featuring Amy Allison And Yo La Tengo
5. Oranges And Lemons Featuring Syd Straw With The Karen Mantler Trio
6. Hickory Dickory Dock Featuring Norman Blake And Aby Vulliamy
7. Hot Cross Buns Featuring Michael Cerveris
8. Ding Dong Bell Featuring Bridget St John
9. Lavender’s Blue Featuring Norman Blake, Georgia Hubley And Yo La Tengo
10. Bobby Shaftoe Featuring Aby Vulliamy
11. Rock A Bye Baby Featuring Isobel Campbell
12. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Featuring Satomi Matsuzaki
13. Ring Around The Rosie Featuring Karen Mantler And Yo La Tengo
14. Hey Diddle Diddle Featuring Annette Peacock
15. Ride A Cock Horse Featuring Norman Blake And Yo La Tengo