Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie and Savages’ Jehnny Beth have teamed up for a duets album inspired by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’s Grievous Angel and George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s We Go Together.
Utopian Ashes will be released on July 2; watch a video for lead single “Remember We Were Lovers”, directed by Douglas Hart, below:
The duo first met in 2015, when they were both invited to perform with Suicide at the Barbican. The following summer, Jehnny Beth joined Primal Scream on stage for a duet of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s “Some Velvet Morning”, which led to the recording of this album in Paris in 2017. It features the Primal Scream trio of Andrew Innes (guitar), Martin Duffy (piano) and Darrin Mooney (drums), alongside Jehnny Beth’s long-term musical partner Johnny Hostile (bass).
“In the same way you create characters for a novel, we’ve created characters here,” says Jehnny Beth. “But you put yourself in it, because you’re trying to understand the human situation. The singing has to be authentic. That’s all that matters.”
“When you write a song you marry the personal with the fictional and make art,” adds Gillespie. “I was thinking about two people living alone, together but apart, existing and suffering in a psychic malaise, who plough on because of responsibilities and commitments. It’s about the impermanence of everything — an existential fact that everyone has to face at some point in their lives… I wanted to put pain back into music. I wasn’t hearing a lot of it in modern rock music.”
Utopian Ashes will be released on stream, download, LP, red LP (HMV Exclusive), clear LP (Indies Exclusive), blue LP (D2C Exclusive) and CD – pre-order it here and peruse the tracklisting below:
‘Chase It Down’
‘Remember We Were Lovers’
‘You Heart Will Always Be Broken’
‘Stones of Silence’
‘You Don’t Know What Love Is’
‘Self-Crowned King of Nothingness’
‘You Can Trust Me Now’
‘Living A Lie’
‘Sunk In Reverie’