Good Grief will be Bernard Butler’s first solo album in 25 years

Bernard Butler has revealed details of his new studio album, Good Grief.

His first solo LP in 25 years, the songwriter and producer has been busy working with a variety of different artists during that time. Notable projects include 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.

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.

Escape is the dream…

Bernard booked himself into a rehearsal space in Holloway every Wednesday afternoon for months, just him, a guitar, a microphone, and his new songs.  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,” he says. “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.”

Listen to Camber Sands below:

City to coast

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.

Good Grief Tracklisting

Camber Sands
Deep Emotions
Living The Dream
Preaching To The Choir
Pretty D
The Forty Foot
London Snow
The Wind

The album will be released on a variety of formats including: limited silver vinyl (Indie retail exclusive), black vinyl, CD with eight page fold-out insert, and very limited Gold vinyl exclusive to his website. All initial ‘first editionsof the vinyl come with a signed print.

Throughout May and June, before he goes on tour around the UK, Butler will be making in-store appearances:

3 May – Rough Trade East, London (evening)
1 June David’s, Letchworth – Afternoon
2 June Pie & Vinyl, Southsea – Afternoon
2 June Vinilo, Southampton Evening
3 June Vinyl Whistle, Leeds – Evening
4 June Resident, Brighton – Evening

Bernard Butler June Tour Dates

6 London, St Matthias Church (Sold Out)
7 London, St Matthias Church
8 Bristol, Beacon The Lantern
11 Nottingham, Metronome
14 Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall
15 Kendal, Brewery Arts Centre
21 Edinburgh, Voodoo Rooms
22 Glasgow, Macintosh Queens Cross
23 Newcastle, Gosforth Civic Theatre
27 Bodmin, St Petroc’s Church
28 Lyme Regis, Marine Theatre

Good Grief is released via 355 Recordings on 31 May and is available to pre-order here

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