Posts Tagged ‘Utopian Ashes’

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.

Out on Third Man Records this July, Savages’ Jehnny Beth and Primal Screams’s Bobby Gillespie have teamed up for a collaboration album titled “Utopian Ashes”. The first single is a yearning, slow-burning ballad called “Remember We Were Lovers.” Beth and Gillespie first met in 2015, and over the years have performed alongside Suicide and the rest of Primal Scream.

For Utopian Ashes, the two explore fictional characters with a revived sense of ache. Inspired by classic country songwriter duets like Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’ “Grievous Angel” and George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s “We Go Together,” the two put themselves in the scenario of a crumbling marriage, one that continues to erode with emotional  inarticulacy and misperceptions.

“I wanted to put pain back into music. I wasn’t hearing a lot of it in modern rock music,” Gillespie said of the project.  “In the same way you create characters for a novel, we’ve created characters here,” Beth shared. “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,” added 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.”

“Remember We Were Lovers”