Like the title says, we got a doozy for you today that we’re “Pretty Sure” will be right to your liking. That’s because we are helping to reveal Jonathan Warren & The Billy Goats’ new single “Pretty Sure,” a standalone release, separate from their latest album Cletus. Reflective in nature, the song also features a fun little groove that goes nicely with the band’s psychobilly flavoured sound that listeners have come to know, and love, over the course of now five full-length studio albums.
Both “Pretty Sure” and Cletus encapsulate everything that is what the band refers to as progressive psychobilly folk-grass, a combination of more traditional rockabilly, country, punk rock, and more traditional rock n’ roll. Featuring lead singer and guitarist Jonathan Warren, guitarist and cellist David Henry, and the group’s latest edition, banjoist/guitarist Stephen Morningstar, Warren & The Billy Goats have successfully turned the page towards a new era in their existence.
Telling us about some of the personal details that motivated the writing of “Pretty Sure,” Warren told us, “‘Pretty Sure’ was written during a passionate, but tumultuous relationship, in which the word ‘love’ was being used more as a weapon than a symbol of affection. It tells the story of the aftermath from a love affair ending in deception. When I wrote, ‘I don’t believe you when you say you love me, and I don’t believe you when you say you don’t,’ I was addressing an angry woman with a broken heart but love for me remaining in her eyes.”
The band is happy to be moving forward, especially after the tumultuous times that they have recently emerged from. Cletus was recorded in the wake of the December 2017 suicide of The Billy Goats’ original bassist Billy Kaiser. His passing left a mark not only on Warren and Henry, but also the entire local music community in the band’s native Boise, Idaho. There were times that Warren wasn’t sure that he even wanted to continue with the band, but in the interest of keeping the spirit of Kaiser alive, he decided to carry forward and turn all of his negative energy into something positive. The album finds The Billy Goats moving towards more of a traditional folk song, combining elements of Appalachian bluegrass with little psychedelic twists. The ten-song collection is affectionately named after Warren’s dog, a tribute of sorts to his faithful friend who has seen him through both the best of times and worst of times.
It’s been a rough go for a little while, but Warren is successfully guiding The Billy Goats towards perhaps their most creative, developed, and mature set of songs yet.