On his new solo record Generations, out September 25th, Arcade Fire’s Will Butler digs beneath the recent chaos of the world and finds only more chaos. The songs are conversations that cycle back on themselves. All answers are refuted; all truths are contingent. And yet, there’s a powerful, almost hopeful, sense of forward movement pulsing through the record.
‘Close My Eyes’ is a song that searches for comfort and almost finds it. It arrives today with a video (beautifully shot by Butler in a rowboat built by his grandfather) that highlights the song’s longing for escape.
Watch the video for ‘Close My Eyes’ – BELOW:
“I tried to make the lyrics a straightforward and honest description of an emotion I feel often—a drive for change coupled with despair: ‘I’m tired of waiting for a better day. But I’m scared and I’m lazy and nothing’s gonna change.’ Kind of a sad song. Trying to tap into some Smokey Robinson/Motown feeling—’I’ve got to dance to keep from crying.'”
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 shaped and intensified with his band – Miles Francis, Sara Dobbs, and Julie and Jenny Shore. 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’ (deemed an instant favourite by NPR) 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.
Will Butler – Generations // Merge Records – 25/09/20
1. Outta Here
3. Close My Eyes
4. I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know
6. Hide It Away
7. Hard Times
9. Not Gonna Die