Will Butler has released his first new music since his surprising March departure from Arcade Fire in the form of two songs from Merge Records, “A Stranger’s House” and “Nearer to Thee.” Butler will also tour this summer for the first time since 2019, with a seven-show run beginning Aug. 11 in Cambridge, Mass.
Unsurprisingly, both new songs share some musical DNA with Arcade Fire, which Butler joined a couple years after his brother Win founded the band in 2001. “A Stranger’s House” and “Nearer to Thee” feature Butler’s core band of Sara Dobbs, Miles Francis, Jenny Shore and Julie Shore, who also played on his 2020 release Generations.
“‘A Stranger’s House’ has a rad video. ‘Nearer to Thee’ is some true gothic bullshit. I love them both,” Butler wrote on Twitter.
Butler participated in the recording sessions for Arcade Fire’s recently released album We, but suddenly announced he had left the band shortly after a surprise show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. “There was no acute reason beyond that I’ve changed — and the band has changed — over the last almost 20 years,” he said at the time. “Time for new things.”
Here are Will Butler’s tour dates:
Aug. 11: Cambridge, Mass. (The Sinclair)
Aug. 12: Montreal (Theatre Fairmount)
Aug. 13: Toronto (Lee’s Palace)
Aug. 14: Pittsburgh (Club Cafe)
Aug. 19: Brooklyn. N.Y. (Brooklyn Made)
Aug. 20: Washington. D.C. (DC9)
Aug. 21: Philadelphia (Johnny Brenda’s)