New Release Friday!!!!
Both WILL BUTLER-GENERATIONS & Bob Mould-BLUE HEARTS are available RIGHT NOW for purchase and will ship ON THE 25TH!!! That's TOMORROW!!! WOO!!! Both of these albums come highly recommended! I've spent the past week with these two, and let me tell you, from start to finish, these albums are winners. I never once SKIPPED a track; each album has it's merits and NO DUDS. Get your copies TODAY, and if you don't have either of the artists back-catalogue, we have them available for purchase! Read below for some cool blurbs about each album!
In the five years since Will Butler released his debut album, Policy, he’s toured the world both solo and as a member of Arcade Fire, released the Friday Night live album, recorded and released Arcade Fire’s international #1 album Everything Now, earned his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard, hosted a series of touring town halls on local issues (police contracts, prison reform, municipal paid sick leave, voting rights), and spent time raising his three children. He also found the time and inspiration to write and record a new album, Generations. “My first record, Policy, was a book of short stories,” Butler says. “Generations is more of a novel—despairing, funny, a little bit epic... A big chunk of this record is asking: What’s my place in American history? What’s my place in America’s present? Both in general—as a participant, as we all are, in the shit that’s going down—but, also extremely particularly: me as Will Butler, rich person, white person, Mormon, Yankee, parent, musician of some sort, I guess. What do I do? What can I do? The record asks that question over and over, even if it’s not much for answers.” While the songs on Generations contain their fair share of dread and regret, there is ultimately a lightness that shines through Butler’s music. That brightness is at its most intense when he and his solo band—Miles Francis, Sara Dobbs, and Julie and Jenny Shore—perform on stage. Their electricity is palpable throughout Generations, with the bulk of the new songs having been worked out live. Wild synth production—gnarly bass synths with live drums—and anthemic backing vocals as on first single “Surrender” are punctuated by intimate, direct moments: Butler’s voice cracking on “Fine” as he conjures his ancestors, and “Promised,” a meditation on friendship, how lives are built together, and how and why they drift apart. Generations was recorded and produced by Butler in the basement of his home in Brooklyn. Tracking finished in March 2020, as New York closed down for the pandemic. Half the record was mixed in Montreal by longtime Arcade Fire engineer Mark Lawson, the other half by Brooklyn-based producer Shiftee (who is, incidentally, bandmate Julie Shore’s husband and Will’s brother-in-law). Generations opens a dialogue with the world. It posits answers—and deals with those answers being refuted. Ultimately, it navigates the conversation as a way to find the truth... or at least a way forward.
Bob Mould-BLUE HEARTS
In 2019, Bob Mould bucked the era’s despair with his melodic, upbeat album Sunshine Rock. Cut to spring 2020, and he has this to say: “We’re really in deep shit now.” That sentiment informs his new full-length album, Blue Hearts, the raging-but-catchy yin to Sunshine Rock’s yang. To be sure, we were in some shit in 2018, when Mould recorded Sunshine Rock. Back then, he had a song called “American Crisis” that didn’t fit the album. “That song is the seed for what we’re talking about now,” Mould says from his home in San Francisco during the COVID-19 lockdown. “American Crisis” is the third song in a walloping album that spits plainspoken fire at the people who fomented this crisis. “This is the catchiest batch of protest songs I’ve ever written in one sitting,” he says. Through some of the most direct, confrontational lyrics of his four-decade career, Mould makes his POV clear: “I never thought I’d see this bullshit again / To come of age in the ’80s was bad enough / We were marginalized and demonized / I watched a lot of my generation die / Welcome back to American crisis.” Why “welcome back”? Because Mould experienced deja vu writing Blue Hearts in the fall of 2019. “Where it started to go in my head is back to a spot that I’ve been in before,” he says. “And that was the fall of 1983.” Back then, Mould was a self- described “22-year-old closeted gay man” touring with the legendary Hüsker Dü and seeing an epidemic consume his community. Leaders were content to let AIDS kill a generation. Mould later realized why his mind wandered back there for Blue Hearts. “We have a charismatic, telegenic, say-anything leader being propped up by evangelicals,” he says. “These fuckers tried to kill me once. They didn’t do it. They scared me. I didn’t do enough. Guess what? I’m back, and we’re back here again. And I’m not going to sit quietly this time and worry about alienating anyone.” Recorded at the famed Electrical Audio in Chicago with Beau Sorenson engineering and Mould producing, Blue Hearts nods to Mould’s past while remaining firmly planted in the issues of the day. Acoustic opener “Heart on My Sleeve” catalogues the ravages of climate change. “Next Generation” worries for who comes next. “American Crisis” references “Evangelical ISIS” and features this dagger of a line: “Pro-life, pro-life until you make it in someone else’s wife.” “Leather Dreams,” “Password to My Soul,” and “The Ocean” were composed during a writing binge before a January 2020 Solo Electric tour, when Mould stayed up for three straight days. “Songs just kept coming out,” he says. “‘Leather Dreams’ and ‘The Ocean’ both appeared within hours. I barely remember writing them.” That feels right for an explosive, hook-laden album like Blue Hearts. Only there’s nothing forgettable about it.