Bernard Butler announces ‘Good Grief’ – his first solo album in 25 years

Bernard Butler has announced details of ‘Good Grief’ – his first solo album in 25 years. Check out the lead single ‘Camber Sands’ below, as well as tour dates.

Announced today (March 27), the upcoming release marks the songwriter and producer’s return to solo work after two and a half decades. It also comes following his venture into the world of pop songwriting and producing – having worked on two albums with folk musician Sam Lee and a Mercury-nominated project with actor Jessie Buckley.

In his time away from releasing solo material, the former Suede guitarist has also worked alongside the likes of Bert Jansch and Ben Watt from Everything But The Girl, The Libertines, Tricky and contributed to a Grammy-winning record with Duffy.

‘Good Grief’ comes after Bernard booked himself into a rehearsal space in Holloway every Wednesday afternoon for months, just him, a guitar and a microphone.

“For a good while I was scarred and I was scared. I was happily distracted and joyously involved with so much music. I realised just being there was more than I had ever hoped for. I gave a lot to other people, but realised that my story was defined but what I was, rather than what I am,” he explained of the inspiration behind the new album.

“I set myself a modest commercial goal, an expectant creative one: perform to 10 people without being bottled, then find 11 the next night. Thus began the undoing of my own embarrassment. I would write as I thought and sing as I wrote until the bottles fly. And so, the songs arrived.”

Bernard Butler 'Good Grief' artwork
Bernard Butler ‘Good Grief’ artwork. CREDIT: Press

Comprised of nine songs, the tracklist begins with the moving opening track ‘Camber Sands’ – which the artist has also shared as the lead single.

We’ve got nothing left here/ so there’s nothing to decide/ they’ve already had too much of my time,” he sings at the beginning of the track. “I’m not gonna fan the flames/ I’ll bore you to tears about the good old days/ no yippee-ki-yay’s/ just pack your bags because I’m taking you to camber sands”.

“For years and years I have drawn straight lines from North London to every coastline I could see. To life-worn Londoners escape is the dream and return most likely,” Butler said of the track.

“The story I found was not the sea but the journey. Camber Sands, Mersea Island, Dunwich, or a dozen more horizons of possibility, the sea and the seawalls, and the endless return to face the city. Camber Sands is a love song – we flee the past, the present, ourselves, to survive, to defy,” he added. “The loneliest music of the resolute, the half-light and the saddest tunes.”

Check out the track below, as well as the full tracklist for the album.

The ‘Good Grief’ tracklist is:

1. ‘Camber Sands’
2. ‘Deep Emotions’
3. ‘Living The Dream’
4. ‘Preaching To The Choir’
5. ‘Pretty D’
6. ‘The Forty Foot’
7. ‘London Show’
8. ‘Clean’
9. ‘The Wind’

“’Good Grief’ finds Bernard Butler owning three decades of work, free to perform, bookended by wildly contrasting experiences of loss, joy, and bewilderment,” reads a press release. “The album is a journey from city to coast and back, and between it, an entire spectrum of human emotion.”

The album will be released via 355 Recordings on May 31. Visit here to pre-order the LP and explore limited-edition physical copies.

Later this summer, Butler will be heading on tour to celebrate the album’s release – embarking on both a run of in-store appearances and live shows. The former kicks off on May 31 with an appearance at Rough Trade East, London, and the tour dates start on June 6 with a slot at St Matthias Church in London. Find tickets here and a list of upcoming events below.

In-store appearances are:

MAY
31 – Rough Trade East, London – Evening

JUNE
1– David’s, Letchworth
2 – June Pie & Vinyl, Southsea (Afternoon)
2 – Vinilo, Southampton (Evening)
3 –Vinyl Whistle, Leeds
4 – Resident, Brighton

2024 UK tour dates are: 

JUNE
6 – London, St Matthias Church (Sold Out)
7 –London, St Matthias Church
8 – Bristol, Beacon The Lantern
11 – Nottingham, Metronome
14 – Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall
15 – Kendal, Brewery Arts Centre
21 – Edinburgh, Voodoo Rooms
22 – Glasgow, Macintosh Queens Cross
23 – Newcastle, Gosforth Civic Theatre
27 – Bodmin, St Petroc’s Church
28 – Lyme Regis, Marine Theatre


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