Sweet Billy Pilgrim

White goods abusers, Mercury nominated artpopsters

Sweet Billy Pilgrim, led by their singer songwriter Tim Elsenburg, are critically acclaimed purveyors of atmospheric artpop. They are about release 'Crown & Treaty' via EMI Records, the follow-up to 2009’s Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize nominated, ‘Twice Born Men’, possibly the greatest record ever to feature a tuned dishwasher and to have been recorded in a garden shed.

Often compared to Radiohead, Sigur Rós, Talk Talk or Elbow, Sweet Billy Pilgrim try to achieve a sublime balance between their hooks and their moods, their ambitions and their humility. Failing that, they lose themselves in the details until something beautiful happens.

David Sylvian (who owns the label they released their last album on) said of the band: “Musicians these days are like rogue molecular scientists tinkering away in a shed at the bottom of the garden but whereas most tend to emerge with endearingly unstable little monsters, Sweet Billy Pilgrim manage to produce an entire universe.”

Their new album features another dishwasher, a choir of Pilgrims (fans), a a drunken Austrian tramp berating a Christian singing group, and the violation of an old leather armchair. Already Mojo Magazine have awarded it 'Instant Classic' status and 5 stars, saying 'A richer feast from more humble ingredients could scarcely be imagined'.

Singer Tim has also written music articles for Drowned in Sound and The Sunday Times, and would very much like to be published in Metal Hammer before he dies.

Pilgrim's Progress II (What's the Value of 'Free'?)

We're in a fairly unique position as a band, in that we've amassed lots of positive critical attention including a Mercury nomination, whilst still operating - to stretch the seagoing metaphor to breaking point - somewhere so far under the radar, that it's probably actually sonar.
24/04/2013 16:49 BST

When I Feel Heavy Metal

I don't make heavy metal music. I guess if I had to label what I do in my band, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, it would be with something wince-inducing like 'progressive ambient pop' written in a tasteful calligraphic hand on expensive washi paper and tied with jute cord to a bonsai tree, probably by a vegetarian.
27/07/2012 16:51 BST

Pilgrims' Progress (That 'Difficult' Third Album)

My band, <a href="http://www.facebook.com/sweetbillypilgrim" target="_hplink">Sweet Billy Pilgrim</a> have just released a new album. Semantically speaking, I know that statement is a little naive; it might even sound disingenuous given that music is consumed in so many different ways now.
01/05/2012 22:43 BST

Slab! Oratory (Or How Industrial Music Changed My Life)

"...Like an iron foundry at full volume", promised a bemused <em>NME</em> reviewer of <em>Descension</em> by never-even-remembered UK industrial rockers Slab! I remember peering out at those words from behind a greasy curtain of teenage hair, and wondering why a band would want to sound like that.
10/04/2012 22:06 BST

Mercury Prize Memories From a Former Nominee

When I was told about our Mercury Prize nomination (for Twice Born Men in 2009) I was fitting a toilet seat, as part of my - then - day job. It was certainly one of those fairy-tale moments, despite the confines of the cubicle, my wee soaked knees and the delighted tourettes of a man who can't quite believe his luck.
07/09/2011 09:30 BST