It has been said many times and it is worth repeating, when a member of a band leaves, keep an eye on them. Who know, you just might like what they come up with.
Multi-instrumentalist Will Butler announced in early 2022 he’d be leaving Arcade Fire, releasing his last studio album with the band, We, in May of 2022. Having already moved toward a solo vision with Policy (2015 Merge Records), Friday Night (2016 Merge Records), and Generations (2020 Merge Records), we knew there was more up the sleeve of the unpredictable Butler. What we received was even better than we could imagine.
As Butler puts it “After Generations, I considered making a weird solo record. Me alone in the basement, etc., etc. Mostly I realized that what I wanted was the opposite.” Teaming up with his wife Julie Shore, her sister Jenny Shore, Miles Francis and Sara Dobbs, also known as Sister Squares, Will Butler + Sister Squares was born. The self-titled, fourteen-track collaboration achieves a blend of genres, decades, and ideas so layered you’ll be listening to it on repeat. Coined as “equal parts Figure 8 Studios, group experiments from Will’s basement, and sessions in Miles’ Synthia Studio” the record sets out on a path to self-discovery, only to find more than one could have hoped. It is as if Will Butler + Sister Squares discovered a place they can exist, somewhere between I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Of Montreal. Will Butler + Sister Squares is an album that confidently soars along at cruising altitudes on the Jetstream established by Bolan and Bowie, dreamed up in a basement full of dim lighting and endless possibilities. Unpredictable and equally satisfying, it is a delicate balance of retro influence and fresh landscapes in audible exploration. Will Buthler + Sister Squares finely craft a two-fold experience of thought-provoking lyricism with a pull of digitized, fuzzed instrumental progression. This is the kind of record that bends your mind the more you pay attention. The electro-funk grooves hover complacently above shadowed ambiance permeating enough hooks to keep you tethered to the vibes of Will Butler + Sister Squares for long enough, it might quickly become my newest addiction.
Make no doubt about it, Will Butler + Sister Squares is an equal distribution of talents and collaboration. But, dare I say Will Butler is better suited with Sister Squares going forward than his previous collaboration? It certainly feels like a match made in musical heaven. Find out for yourself and check out Will Butler + Sister Squares out now on Merge Records.