Andy Butler – better known as Hercules & Love Affair – has just about been through it all. Having begun his career at just about the apex of indie hype, he quickly plummeted from good graces, losing connections with key collaborators such as ANOHNI due his (admitted) own messes, he continued to release great, if deeply pained, music even amidst his periods of greatest turmoil.
Yet, it was with 2017’s Omnion that he truly reclaimed, well, himself. Taking on a sober lifestyle and beginning to mend the many wounds he’d created – within himself and those close to him – he crafted a truly powerful work of art still centered within the euphoric dance music he’d long since perfected.
It’s been quite the wait for the follow up that underrated gargantuan statement, but that’s just about up. Today, he’s announced In Amber, due out June 17th via BMG records. It couldn’t have come a moment sooner.
He’s hardly resting on his hard won laurels, either, instead opting to push his music in ever bolder directions. He explains, “In dance music, the focus tends to be more on celebration, joy, desire, heartbreak. But rage? Existential contemplation? Not so much…certain emotions seemed to be off limits.“
It’s just these sort of boundaries he’s decided to push against – and beyond – with In Amber. Also of key importance is his reunification with ANOHNI, a moment that will no doubt feel deeply valuable to ling time fans that have suffered through the pair’s estrangement.
It had a great impact on the project as well, as Butler reflects: “In some ways, In Amber is a record I didn’t know I had in me. From singing out, to suggesting to get Budgie to participate, to derailing some of the arrangements for more impact – ANOHNI definitely pulled much of it out of me.“
It’s his final statement, however, that bears the most impact. He puts it simply. “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. 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.“
To say the least, the project is beyond promising. We can hardly wait.
Check out its first offering, “Grace”, via the video below or on streaming platforms.
Hercules & Love Affair’s In Amber comes out on June 17 through BMG (pre-order/save). You can find the act on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.