Good Grief

Bernard Butler

£23.99

Release date:

31/05/2024

Wishlist

10 available for pre-order


SKU 355REC1LPX Categories, Tag

Description

Standard weight, silver vinyl LP. Indies exclusive

Good Grief’ is the first new solo album in 25 years from songwriter and producer Bernard Butler. Between then and now, Butler had ventured into the world of pop songwriting and producing, including two seminal albums with folk musician Sam Lee, a Mercury nominated project with actor Jessie Buckley as well as working with Bert Jansch and Ben Watt From Everything But The Girl, The Libertines, Tricky and an eight-million selling, Grammy-winning record with Duffy.

Of returning to solo work after two and a half decades, Butler says ‘For a good while I was scarred and I was scared. I was happily distracted and joyously involved with so much music. I realised just being there was more than I had ever hoped for. I gave a lot to other people, but realised that my story was defined but what I was, rather than what I am. I set myself a modest commercial goal, an expectant creative one: perform to 10 people without being bottled, then find 11 the next night. Thus began the undoing of my own embarrassment. I would write as I thought and sing as I wrote until the bottles fly. And so, the songs arrived.’

Bernard booked himself into a rehearsal space in Holloway every Wednesday afternoon for months, just him, a guitar and a microphone. The first fruit of these sessions is the new single ‘Camber Sands’, “For years and years I have drawn straight lines from North London to every coastline I could see. To life-worn Londoners escape is the dream and return most likely. The story I found was not the sea but the journey. Camber Sands, Mersea Island, Dunwich, or a dozen more horizons of possibility, the sea and the seawalls, and the endless return to face the city. Camber Sands is a love song – we flee the past, the present, ourselves, to survive, to defy. The loneliest music of the resolute, the half-light and the saddest tunes.’

Round circle shows with friends Norman Blake and James Grant across Scotland gave Butler the taste for venturing back out on stage, and while writing with Jessie Buckley for the Mercury Prize nominated For All Our Days That Tear the Heart album, Bernard tucked away his own discoveries and continued the journey once Buckley returned to the silver screen. Confronting his own songwriting process, he wrote words down, away from the security of his guitar, before carving music around the lines.

‘Good Grief’ finds Bernard Butler owning three decades of work, free to perform, bookended by wildly contrasting experiences of loss, joy, and bewilderment. The album is a journey from city to coast and back, and between it, an entire spectrum of human emotion.

TRACKLISTING
A1. Camber Sands
A2. Deep Emotions
A3. Living the Dream
A4. Preaching to the Choir
A5. Pretty D
B1. The Forty Foot
B2. London Snow
B3. Clean
B4. The Wind