Will Butler, has been one busy individual over the past few years, including releasing his first solo record, Policy, toured as a member of Arcade Fire, released the Friday Night live album, recorded and finally Arcade Fire’s album Everything Now. In addition to the various music projects, Butler earned his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard, hosted a series of touring town halls on local issues (police contracts, prison reform, municipal paid sick leave, voting rights), and spent time raising his three children.
Today, Will Butler has announced his new album, Generations, the full-length will come out on September 25 via Merge. The news arrives with a self-directed music video for the lead-single “Surrender.”
Will Butler on “Surrender:”
“Surrender” is masquerading as a love song, but it’s more about friendship. About the confusion that comes as people change—didn’t you use to have a different ideal? Didn’t we have the same ideal at some point? Which of us changed? How did the world change? Relationships that we sometimes wish we could let go of, but that are stuck within us forever.
It’s also about trying to break from the first-person view of the world. “What can I do? What difference can I make?” It’s not about some singular effort—you have to give yourself over to another power. Give over to people who have gone before who’ve already built something—you don’t have to build something new! The world doesn’t always need a new idea, it doesn’t always need a new personality. What can you do with whatever power and money you’ve got? Surrender it over to something that’s already made. And then the song ends with an apology—I’m sorry I’ve been talking all night. Cause talking like that, man, not always useful.
Generations was recorded and produced by Butler in the basement of his home in Brooklyn. Tracking finished in March 2020, as New York closed down for the pandemic. Half the record was mixed in Montreal by longtime Arcade Fire engineer Mark Lawson, the other half by Brooklyn-based producer Shiftee.