Will Oldham debuted new group, The Babblers, in Chattanooga last night

If you live in Chattanooga and decided to stay in and watch Glee last night, then take off your steel-toe boots because you’re going to kick yourself after reading this  Our own Carson O’Shoney dragged himself to Main Street and was treated to what seems like the first performance by Will Oldham’s newest project – The Babblers.

Publicity hasn’t responded to inquiries, so there aren’t any concrete facts about the outfit yet. What we do know is that the six-piece apparently took the stage at Discoteca dressed in onesies and delivered a set featuring music that O’Shoney described as familiar for Oldham, but “ kind of all over, louder, and a little more upbeat” than his normal output. The 39-year-old Oldham (who is best known for his work in Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy) split lead vocal duties with a still-unknown female whose vocals ranged from a whisper to full on screaming. The music also seemed to echo the vocals and reportedly ranged from “really soft and sweet to really loud and rocking.”

UPDATE: TwentyFourBit is reporting that Oldham split vocal duties with Chicago-based songstress, Angel Olsen, who is taking the name Angela Babbler for the purpose of the project.  In a rather cryptic interview with Chattarati, Oldham said that the new band was more Olsen’s idea than his and that they were looking forward to recording the material in “either Little Rock, Ark. or Chicago, Ill. [sometime] soon.”  Pitchfork has also picked up the story and posted a video from the performance which is available for your viewing pleasure at the bottom of this post.

The show was a bit secretive, but you still only have yourself to blame if you didn’t make it out. There were only around 150 people at the event and rumors of Oldham being there spread through word-of-mouth as the show came closer. Discoteca – which is approaching its one-year anniversary in January – teased the show with this flyer and by saying that, “The Babblers is a new band and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will recognize the lead singer. Wish [we] could tell you who he [is], but we’ve agreed not to.”

And while seeing the birth of a new project is always exciting, don’t fret if you weren’t there last night. Videos will surely surface on YouTube, and The Babblers will be opening up for Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy for the first week of December. Athens, Ga. gets their shot tonight, then Virginia and North & South Carolina get to see the group before they play New York City’s Town Hall on December 8th.

Ticketing info is available here and tour dates are listed below. You can relive O’Shoney’s excitement trough his Twitter feed (which includes a couple snaps of the band), and if you were there, or have found video of the performance, then share the love and post a link in the comments section below.

The Babblers live at Discoteca (11/31 – Chattanooga, Tenn.)

Bonnie Prince Billy 2010 Tour Dates:
12/01 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club *
12/02 – Columbia, SC @ The White Mule *
12/03 – Charlotte, NC @ The Neighborhood Theatre *
12/04 – Durham, NC @ Reynolds Industries Theatre *
12/05 – Richmond, VA @ The National *
12/08 – New York, NY @ Town Hall *


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