BOBBY GILLESPIE and JEHNNY BETH – ” Utopian Ashes “

Posted: May 11, 2021 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
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Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream and Jehnny Beth from Savages are releasing a new collaborative album together, “Utopian Ashes”. Due out on July 2 via Third Man Recordings. They shared its second single, the string-backed “Chase It Down”  Thomas James directed the atmospheric black & white video.

Previously the duo shared the album’s first single, “Remember We Were Lovers” via a video for it. As well as Gillespie and Beth, the album also features Beth’s musical partner Johnny Hostile (bass) alongside three members of Primal Scream—Andrew Innes (guitar), Martin Duffy (piano), and Darrin Mooney (drums).

Utopian Ashes is a concept record of sorts that chronicles the collapse of a marriage. A press release compares the album to country-soul classics such as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’ Grievous Angel and George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s We Go Together.

“In the same way you create characters for a novel, we’ve created characters here,” says Beth in the press release. “But you put yourself in it, because you’re trying to understand the human situation. The singing has to be authentic. That’s all that matters.”

“When you write a song you marry the personal with the fictional and make art,” adds Gillespie. “I was thinking about two people living alone, together but apart, existing and suffering in a psychic malaise, who plough on because of responsibilities and commitments. It’s about the impermanence of everything—an existential fact that everyone has to face at some point in their lives.”

It was in 2015 when they were both invited to get up on stage with Suicide at the Barbican in London that the duo first met. In 2016 Beth joined Primal Scream on stage for a duet of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s “Some Velvet Morning” (a Primal Scream staple). Sessions for the album happened in Paris in 2017.

Summing up his intentions with Utopian Ashes Gillespie says: “I wanted to put pain back into music. I wasn’t hearing a lot of it in modern rock music.”

Jehnny Beth released her debut solo album, “To Love Is To Live”, last year via Caroline Records.

Primal Scream’s most recent album, “Chaosmosis” was released back in 2016 via the band’s own label, First International.

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