Later this month marks the arrival of Will Butler’s sophomore solo album, Generations. Fans have thus far heard a pair of previews in “Close My Eyes” and “Surrender”. Now, the indie rocker has let loose “Bethlehem”, as well as offered an update on the new Arcade Fire album.
Boisterous and brimming with a punk rock-like rage, the new single was partially inspired by Trump’s presidency and William Butler Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming”. “Like a lot of folks, I woke up after the election in 2016 mad and sad and scared and exhausted,” Butler remarked in a statement. “This song is born of that emotion.”
In completing “Bethlehem”, however, Butler came to later realize that “this isn’t the apocalypse. You’re misquoting Yeats. Get your fucking head on straight. History has not ruptured — this shit we’re in is contiguous with the shit we’ve been dealing with for a long, long time.” He added, “But still, we sometimes do need an apocalyptic vision to make change.”
Check out the single’s video below. Directed by Butler and Adrienne Anderson, it’s a moody clip about the “anxious preparation of a symbolic feast.” Generations drops September 25th via Merge and pre-orders are ongoing.
As for the progress report on the new Arcade Fire album, Butler recently told Apple Music that they’re “not behind schedule” per se, but that there’s still a lot that’s up in the air due to the pandemic. He explained,
“It always takes us a year, a year and a half to make a record anyway. So it’s weirdly … we’re not behind schedule in a certain way, and when Régine will demo eternally, given time on their hands, which they have they’ll demo eternally. We don’t quite have the file management to make a record over the internet. So there will be some moments that will be coming from all over. We’ll be able to get back together at some point. And the dream is that it’ll just be a different process and it’ll be like, ‘All right, we’re together and here it goes.’ But yeah, it’s a bit of a question Mark. I feel like there’s a lot of question marks for the next six months.”