When Billie frontman Philip Krohnengold began his music career, he was 11 years old - a member of a touring choir based in new jersey, traveling the states and overseas - doing school work from the seat of a retired Greyhound bus for a month at a time. Looking back, the trajectory was probably set back then.
Now a restless multi-instrumentalist, Philip Krohnengold is a career collaborator - having toured/recorded with Jeff Tweedy (wilco) and Gary Louris (the jayhawks) in Golden Smog, with the band Gomez, with Ben Harper, Duncan Sheik, and others. Now in Los Angeles, he makes his musical home as a member both the americana/alt-country and indie rock families.
In Billie, Krohnengold combines the stark simplicity of a guitar trio with lush vocal harmonies in a palette reminiscent of panels from the indie comics he credits with much of his inspiration for songwriting. Hang-gliding in the appealing chasm between craggy despair and defiant vulnerability, the band falls somewhere between the moody roar of Mark Kozelek’s Red House Painters and Tonight’s-the-Night-era Neil Young. This is harmonic rock played with a sort of thoughtfully grim resignation that, when bolstered by an artful bottleneck slide guitar, transcends the inherent melancholy of the songs.