Unpopular Advent 2015 - Day 15: Butterfly Child - 'Futures'
These days I almost make a point of not seeking out pre-release ‘review’ copies of new records. The thrill of waking up on release day may not be quite the same as it was when I would eagerly dart into a record shop on the way home from Art School to pick up that new Sarah 7” but it still has the power to send a tremor into my weary heart. But when Guy asked me if I’d like a copy of the new Butterfly Child album a couple of months ahead of release, I admit I jumped at the chance. Naturally, immediately and convincingly, it became a firm favourite.
Of course I knew all about the A.R. Kane connection from the Butterfly Child backstory, but nevertheless the initial reaction on hearing this set drifting through my head on a late Indian summer’s afternoon was that this was some kind of perfect mating of Kane and Wilson, of ‘69’ and ‘Friends’, ‘i’ and ‘Smile’. In the intervening weeks I’ve listened to it innumerable times and find myself always drifting back to those thoughts. Naturally too, thoughts of the likes of ‘Loveless’, Bark Psychosis, Talk Talk and Flying Saucer Attack drift into the reveries, coming up sweetly against the melodies and songwriting eloquence of Bacharach and David or the brilliance of the Brill Building magic. In my head I can’t help string these references together in reverential symphony, all the time knowing that in ‘Futures’ I am hearing a sound that is, if not exactly transcending those influences (I mean how the hell do you transcend Burt and Hal?), certainly transfiguring them into something sensationally, seductively special and spectral. At year’s end ‘Futures’ still sounds both new, Now and effortlessly timeless all in the same heartstoppingly beautiful single breath.
But don’t just take my word(s) for it. Neil Kulkarni’s review for the Quitus is every bit as perfect as ‘Futures’ itself. One of those rare and treasured moments where a writer’s words not only compliments but amplifies the power of the artefact being written about. It is a review that one cannot help but punctuate with internal squeals of delight and only-just-held-in ‘YES!’es. The warming delight that someone else GETS it in just the same way you do. Connection through the ether. Invaluable. So many lines I would wish to claim for my own, each of them capturing a special reason why ‘Futures’ should be such an essential purchase in your grab-bag selection box of 2015.
"Like remembering summer in an ice age” indeed.
‘Futures’ is available from your favourite record store or online purveyor of digital downloads.