Will Butler + Sister Squares – “Willows”

Will Butler

Will Butler + Sister Squares – “Willows”

Will Butler

Almost exactly one year ago, Will Butler announced that he was leaving Arcade Fire. In a statement, he said, “There was no acute reason beyond that I’ve changed — and the band has changed — over the last almost 20 years. Time for new things.” The timing was pretty auspicious. A few months after Will’s departure, his brother Win Butler was accused of sexual misconduct. In any case, Will Butler is not his brother, and he’s still releasing his own music.

After he left Arcade Fire, Will Butler released two tracks, “A Stranger’s House” and “Nearer To Thee.” Will has just announced a European tour that’ll happen later this year, and he’s also shared another new track. This one is credited to Will Butler + Sister Squares. The members of Will’s backing band Sister Squares — Sara Dobbs, Julie Shore, Jenny Shore, and Miles Francis — have been touring and recording with him for nearly a decade. According to a press release, they’re “a New York-based band rooted in dance and theater,” and they’re now being billed alongside Will himself.

The new song “Willows” is a pulsing, contemplative rocker with swirling backup vocals and a driving synthpop beat. Here’s what Will Butler says about it:

“Willows” is about leaving the past in the past. Nostalgia is sweet, but it’s a poison. The scene of the song is someone driving off into the wilderness to meet an old woman — one of the Fates, like in a folk tale. And maybe he wants to be young again, or wants things back the way they used to be. And she says: Anything can happen, for a price.

Below, listen to “Willows” and check out Will Butler + Sister Squares’ European tour dates.

11/07 Riga, Latvia @ Palladium
11/10 Berlin, Germany @ Privatclub
11/12 Aarhus, Denmark @ VoxHall
11/14 Rotterdam, Netherland @ Rotown
11/15 Paris, France @ Café de la Danse
11/16 Brussels, Belgium @ Botanique
11/17 London, UK @ ICA
11/18 Dublin, Ireland @ Whelan’s

“Willows” is out now on Merge.

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