Release Date: Mar 7, 2014
Record label: Tapete Records
Genre(s): Electronic, Avant-Garde, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Experimental Electronic, College Rock
Before this, the last the world heard from international cult songwriter Bill Pritchard was his unexpectedly electronic-heavy 2005 album, By Paris by Taxi by Accident. That album came after a long disappearance from public performance that followed several spirited albums of introspective college rock-era alternative pop crafted by Pritchard either alone or with his band Beatitude. Early in the 2010s, Pritchard was drawn out of another long disappearance when his Beatitude collaborator Tim Bradshaw happened to move within miles of his house, and the two began working at their own pace on what became the springy tunes that make up A Trip to the Coast.
Bill Pritchard has a very good ear for melody, sets some songs in Stoke on Trent, and has a voice you can trust. His characters seem real, especially Polly “drifting through the stations in a pacamac” with “photos she took on the run, from someone, to someone”. Pritchard’s Staffordshire wit is also real, as with his old-school beer reference when singing about someone “in the lane of hazy litter, full of thoughts both mild and bitter.” Unbeknownst to me, Pritchard has been around for decades, even having a minor MTV moment way back in the day.
Fans in France, Belgium and Germany will be happy to know that Bill Pritchard has a new album set for release. Oddly, the British-born singer/songwriter is an unknown in his own country, but has a decent following in Europe.It's especially odd because Pritchard's been around since the '80s, and his sound belongs to the still-kind-of-Angry-Young-Man jangle-pop popularized by the likes of Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy and his post-Duran Duran Lilac Time side-project. In fact, both Pritchard and the Lilac Time released solo debuts in 1987.But then again this particular brand of pop — conversational, my tea is cold, close the fridge door, love-hate relationship stuff — never really extended beyond campus radio.
He’s enjoyed sustained cult status in France, Belgium and Japan for the last 25 years, but Staffordshire-born singersongwriter Bill Pritchard remains a relative unknown in his native Britain. His eponymous debut for Third Mind dates back to 1987, but his reputation rests primarily on the two LPs he cut for Play It Again Sam on the cusp of the 90s: Three Months, Three Weeks & Two Days (featuring a Françoise Hardy cameo on the single Tommy & Co) and 1991’s assured Jolie. The gaps between Pritchard releases have widened since Y2K, so devotees will welcome A Trip To The Coast, not only because it’s his first since 2005’s electronictinged By Paris, By Taxi, By Accident, but also as the best of its quintessentially jangly, erudite tunes (Polly, the fragrant, erm, Stoke-on- Trent-eulogising Trentham) favourably hark back to Pritchard’s PIAS heyday.
Though the guy has been around releasing music since the mid-late 80’s you can’t be faulted if you haven’t heard of Bill Pritchard. While he has had some success in his native England (he had a minor hit with a song called “Tommy and Co.”) Pritchard is much more well-known in some of the other European countries like France, Italy and Holland. It seems like through his career Pritchard has had a few years of releasing music and then he’s gone for a while, returns to release a few more records, and then vanishes again.