Hercules & Love Affair has announced plans to release a new album, In Amber – his first for five years.
Hercules & Love Affair, aka multi-instrumentalist Andy Butler (alongside various collaborators), will release In Amber on Skint/BMG on 17 June, with the album preceded by a new single, Grace, which has just been released and can be downloaded/streamed here.
“Across this record, there are emotional fields I hadn’t ventured into previously with Hercules & Love Affair,” Butler says of the forthcoming album. “Destruction, rage, loss, but also redemption and journeying towards empowerment are all touchstones on the album.
“It has taken years to make, but I am happy to put it forward now, at a moment in time where we have all been confronted with such heightened feelings collectively and on an unprecedented scale”.
For Butler, the new album offered an opportunity to explore emotional fields beyond the well-worn tropes in electronic music, as well as adopt a new sonic palette.
“In dance music, the focus tends to be more on celebration, joy, desire, heartbreak,” he says. “But rage? Existential contemplation? Not so much…certain emotions seemed to be off limits”.
‘In Amber’ is a collection of songs that have been brewing for years. It has been such a journey. You can hear that journey in the record- I am incredibly proud of it. you can pre-order now from my official store: https://t.co/Wh7nWJ2xUF pic.twitter.com/sL2YbgThbP
— Hercules Love Affair (@HerculesLA) February 25, 2022
The album sees Butler team up with ANOHNI for the first time since Hercules & Love Affair’s debut album, back in 2008 – remember the all-time classic, Blind?
“In some ways, ‘In Amber’ is a record I didn’t know I had in me,” Butler adds. “From singing out, to suggesting to get Budgie [of Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Creatures fame] to participate, to derailing some of the arrangements for more impact – ANOHNI definitely pulled much of it out of me.”
Grace, the new single, features vocals from Icelandic singer Elin Ey, and adopts an almost prayer-like tone.
Ultimately, Hercules & Love Affair pull off the subversive hat trick of infusing pop oriented electronics with a defiantly punk-rock spirit of rebellion and dogged resistance, creating an album loaded with humanity. As you might expect from previous Butler projects, a number of remixes are also planned.
“As an artist that has always puts my personal lived experience forward in my work, not to mention the chaos of living through these recent times, I could not in good conscience make something comfortable,” says Butler. “I needed to express my discomfort. Making a 90’s sounding techno or house record, or an odd 80’s sounding dance track was not anything I needed to do.”
In Amber is released on 17 June.
1 – Grace
2 – One
3 – You’ve Won This War
4 – Christian Prayers
5 – Dissociation
6 – Contempt for You
7 – Gates of Separation
8 – Killing His Family
9 – Who Will Save Us Now?
10 – The Eyes of the Father
11 – Poisonous Storytelling
12 – Repent