Bobby Gillespie & Jehnny Beth "Utopian Ashes" LP (2021)
Details: The debut album by new collaborative duo Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream) and Jehnny Beth (Savages). Released in 2021 on Third Man Records in multiple formats. This variant: black vinyl. New stock, sealed.
Description: "Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth have released their debut collaborative album Utopian Ashes via Third Man Records. A collection of songs which reflect the emotional turmoil that comes with a disintegrating marriage, the album has emerged to widespread critical acclaim. The consensus is that Utopian Ashes is a surprising departure from the duo’s work with Primal Scream and Savages, but that it’s also an album that lives up to the expectations of uniting two iconic talents.
The album’s lead singles, "Chase It Down" and "Remember We Were Lovers," provided a taste of what to expect, and in the process gained widespread media support. But this is an album that benefits from being absorbed as a complete body-of-work. It allows the pain and the authentic characters that the pair have developed to gain further substance. It’s an album for people who have dealt with the inevitable sadness that comes with age and acknowledged the realities of life. There is no sweetening of the pill, but it does achieve what should be the goal of all good art: to make us feel less alone.
Sonically, the album draws on the tradition of country soul classics, such as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’s "Grievous Angel" and George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s "We Go Together," to deal with the heavy realities of love turning sour. And although the Scott Walker-like waltz of "English Town" shows that the world outside their door is just as bleak as the relationship itself, there’s a redemptive arc to the story, notably with the elegant "You Can Trust Me Now," in which the male protagonist vows to leave his vices in the past.
The core duo are joined by Primal Scream’s Andrew Innes (guitar), Martin Duffy (piano) and Darrin Mooney (drums), as well as Jehnny’s regular collaborator Johnny Hostile (bass).
Utopian Ashes explores the loss, miscommunication and emotional inarticulacy that a married couple experience as they realize that their relationship is breaking down. The collection draws on the tradition of country soul classics, such as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’s "Grievous Angel" and George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s "We Go Together," to deal with the heavy realities of love turning sour. It’s an album for people who have dealt with the inevitable sadness that comes with age and acknowledged the realities of life. There is no sweetening of the pill, but it does achieve what should be the goal of all good art: to make us feel less alone. And while it’s not autobiographical, it channels heartfelt truth from the songwriters’ own experiences.
Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth first met in 2015, when they were both invited to perform with Suicide at the Barbican. The following summer she joined Primal Scream on stage for a duet of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s ‘Some Velvet Morning’, which cemented their connection. In 2017, they convened in Paris for sessions, accompanied by Beth’s musical partner Johnny Hostile and the rest of Primal Scream. Their initial electronic-focused ideas gradually evolved into a richer tapestry of soul, country, blues and rock ‘n’ roll."--Third Man Records
Grade: M (new stock)
TRACK LISTING SIDE A:
A1. Chase It Down
A2. English Town
A3. Remember We Were Lovers
A4. Your Heart Will Always Be Broken
TRACK LISTING SIDE B:
B1. Stones Of Silence
B2. You Don't Know What Love Is
B3. Self-Crowned King of Nothingness/You Can Trust Me Now
B4. Living A Lie
B5. Sunk In Reverie