Daiana Feuer on
The joy is infectious on “Rejoice,” a song Andy Butler wrote celebrating four years of sobriety after a long battle with drug addiction. It appears on Hercules & Love Affair‘s new album, “Omnion,” arriving Sept. 1 through Atlantic Records. Butler admits this is a more serious album, subject-wise. “Sometimes the dance floor represents a decision to avoid dialogue with the wider world, to commune with people but not really talk,” Butler says. “But humans need to challenge themselves and step it up. Not that everything has to be so serious but this Hercules record is.”
Since 2008’s eponymous debut through 2011’s “Blue Songs” and 2014’s “The Feast of the Broken Heart,” Butler has always involved magical voices in his project; Nomi Ruiz, CocoRosie, Kim Ann Foxman, Kele Okereke (Bloc Party), Aérea Negrot, Shaun Wright and Anohni, to name a few. “Omnion” continues the tradition, with contributions from the Horrors’ Faris Badwan, Lebanese rock band Mashrou’ Leila, Sharon Van Etten and Iceland’s Sísý Ey, while bringing back regular collaborators Rouge Mary and Gustaph.
Rouge Mary lends his/her voice to “Rejoice.” Moreover, when Butler was all but defeated by his addiction, Rouge helped him prevail. Rogue says, “‘Rejoice’ highlights the importance of gratitude and the power of positive thoughts. ‘Smile though your heart is aching,’ Charlie Chaplin once said. I interpret it in a very powerful way, to symbolize the urgency of the message. I feel this song is like a solution to face problems of all kind. It truly is an ode to positivity.”
Butler felt Rogue was the perfect match for what he hoped to achieved with this disco flavored, spiritual house song. He says, “As with this entire record, ‘Rejoice’ was born out of taking detours from a traditional ‘vocal house’ record. I picked up the tempo and stumbled onto a bass line that evoked my fave early industrial tracks from Front 242 or Cabaret Voltaire. The stomp is one of exuberance, and was begging for ‘vamping’ or ‘riffing’ from a singer – something Rouge Mary is so great at. The exuberance just pointed me to the word ‘Rejoice,’ so I asked her to bring that message to the song. It’s a message she brings every day to her life, so it was exciting to watch her once again share ‘the keys to the kingdom!’”
||| Stream: “Rejoice”
||| Also: Watch “Omnion” featuring Sharon Van Etten