“a quiet, slow song, as many of the best Hercules tracks are” – Pitchfork
“Allow me to raise my hand and admit what a fool I am” – Andy Butler
Fresh off the release of the latest single “Omnion” (currently receiving airplay on BBC Radio), Hercules & Love Affair reveal another song from the forthcoming album Omnion with “Fools Wear Crowns” – premiered via Pitchfork.
“Fools Wears Crowns” is, says Hercules’ Andy Butler, “insanely personal” and as such, Hercules & Love Affair vocalists Rouge and Gustaph wisely concluded it “made no sense in anyone singing it other than me.” The song is indicative of Omnion as a whole – an album that reflects a dramatic shift in Butler’s lifestyle as he celebrates four years sober after years of serious drug addiction.
“It’s literally an apology, an attempt at amends. A few years back I was in the grip of a brutal drug addiction that saw me overdosed in hospital every weekend. I was really decimated. My family said they couldn’t be around me anymore unless I spent a long haul in rehab, but at the height of my addiction I went to Europe and didn’t talk to them for over a year. My mother and my sister were in tears the moment I played them that song.”
Helping Butler interpret Omnion’s message of faith and tolerance are a world class act of singers including The Horrors’ Faris Badwan on “Controller,”New York singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten on title track “Omnion,” and Icelandic sister act Sísý Ey.
Omnion also features upbeat disco stomper “Rejoice,” with regular collaborator Rouge Mary. Rouge Mary also joins Hamed Sinno of Lebanese indie-rock outfit Mashrou’ Leila on “Are You Certain?” exchanging verses in Arabic.
Born in Denver and cutting his teeth as a teenage DJ, Butler escaped to New York and invented Hercules & Love Affair as an outlet for his songs. From the retro-futurist Paradise Garage grooves of Hercules & Love Affair’s eponymous 2008 debut – with longtime friend ANOHNI on the classic, “Blind” – via the thoughtful elegiac songwriting of 2011’s Blue Songs, to the bumping, grittier pulse of 2014’s The Feast of the Broken Heart, Butler has nailed a body of work that bridges the dance floor and home listening.
Omnion moves his game up a notch and reflects his current “hypersensitivity” to all that is going on. “Sometimes the dance floor represents a decision to avoid dialogue with the wider world, to commune with people but not really talk,” Butler explains. “But humans need to challenge themselves and step it up. Not that everything has to be so serious but this Hercules record is.”
Following festival appearances this summer, Hercules & Love Affair bring their visually spectacular stage show – “A Feast for the Eyes” Creative Review – to venues across Europe this fall. Tickets are available now HERE.
11th – Houghton Festival, Kings Lynn (UK)
13th – Boomtown Festival, Winchester [UK] (Andy Butler DJ set)
25th – Rock en Seine, Paris (France)
27th – Stephenson Works, Newcastle (UK)
1st – Into the Great Wide Open, Vlieland (Netherlands)
9th – Festival No. 6, Portmeirion (Wales)
16th – Kutxa Kultur Festival, San Sebastian (Spain)
19th – ADE at Paradiso, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Omnion European Tour:
10th – Metropop Festival, Lausanne, Switzerland
15th – Sala But, MADRID, Spain
16th – Sala Apolo, Barcelona, Spain
17th – Lux Fragil, Lisbon, Portugal
25th – Smolna, Warsaw, Poland
30th – Kesslehaus, Berlin, Germany
1st – Trix, Antwerp, Belgium
6th – Santeria, Milan, Italy
7th – Locomotiv, Bologna, Italy
8th – Shepherds Bush Empire, London
STREAM/DOWNLOAD “OMNION” & OMNION LP: HERE
(Big Beat Records)