Next week, Will Butler will release his new album Generations. So far, we’ve heard two advance singles, “Surrender” and “Close My Eyes.” Today, he’s back with one more preview before the album arrives.
Butler’s latest is called “Bethlehem.” Here’s what he had to say about the inspiration behind the track:
This song partly springs from “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats: “What rough beast, its hour come round at last/ Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” Like a lot of folks, I woke up after the election in 2016 mad and sad and scared and exhausted. This song is born of that emotion.
My bandmates Jenny Shore, Julie Shore, and Sara Dobbs sing the bridge, and it’s a corrective to my (appropriate?) freaking out — 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. But still, we sometimes do need an apocalyptic vision to make change. Even if it’s technically wrong. I dunno. It’s an ongoing conversation.
Check it out below.
Generations is out 9/25 via Merge.