Ears Wide Open: Butch Bastard

Butch Bastard (photo by Andrew Knaup)

Butch Bastard is Ian Murray, formerly of Sub Pop band Poor Moon, a side project of members from Fleet Floxes. In 2014, Murray moved from Seattle to Los Angeles, and began Butch Bastard in his bedroom. Here, he meditated on (or slept through) various existential questions, creating the songs on his forthcoming album, “I Am Not A Man.” Murray recorded almost everything at his house and played most of the instruments. He polished things off at Jonathan Wilson’s Fivestar Studios in Echo Park, where Mitch Rowland and Father John Misty’s Josh Tillman added drums.

A good summary of the album’s themes, “Magnolia” displays Murray’s knack for crude but sincere, often funny lyricism. For example:

“She’ll find a way to make you pay for every feeling you try to explore.
She’ll bob and sway like Sugar Ray and leave you bleeding, unconscious on the floor.
Until that day, do thank her for the gifts she brings you from the Cracker Barrel store.”

“Magnolia” is about someone who is “terrified of experiencing love because he associates it with convention, being old, being boring, being trapped, giving up, losing his identity, losing his freedom,” Murray explains. “The revelation that he has to draw is that his negative associations with love and adulthood are a result of convention, not love and adulthood themselves.”

So, if he is not a man, what is he?  Murray says, “I am not what convention says that a ‘man’ should be. I am not financially comfortable, I am not overly competitive, I am emotional, I am weak, I am scared, I am not handy, I don’t wear Dockers, I am not a homeowner, I don’t golf, I stay up all night, I sleep all day, I don’t care about money, I haven’t given up on my dreams. I am what I am, I guess. I am me.”

||| Stream: “Magnolia”

And now with informatively silly pop-ups: