Catherine Anne Davies & Bernard Butler – The Breakdown (Needle Mythology)

Catherine Anne Davies & Bernard Butler – The Breakdown (Needle Mythology)

Catherine Anne Davies (The Anchoress) and Bernard Butler have unveiled the first track from their collaborative album, with sparse and dreamy single The Breakdown. 

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Catherine Anne Davies and Bernard Butler In Memory Of My Feelings album cover artArtist: Catherine Anne Davies / Bernard Butler
Track: The Breakdown
Label: Needle Mythology
Released: 22 July 2020
Find it: Spotify

A hand skims slowly through milky water, fixed stare. At once connected to every mechanical minutiae of the body, and detached from anchor of physicality to be set adrift in their reality. Everything is consequences now, the action done.

The first track to come from the collaboration between Catherine Anne Davies (The Anchoress) and Bernard Butler is a sparse slow-burn driven only by voice, piano, and upright bass. It introduces an album – In Memory of My Feelings, which will be the first new master recording for Pete Paphides’ label and tells the tale of a (as the title makes clear) a breakdown.

Full of space and yet at times nudging toward the claustrophobic through repeating lyrical refrains. It juxtaposes occasionally uncomfortable (or at least outside of the listeners’ comfort zone) melody due to the unusual time signature with the relative safety offered by the sweetest vocals, warmly but sharply layered into embracing harmonies.

‘Do you make the money? / Or is the money making you?’

They say, “The Breakdown explores the personal price to the pursuit of economic wealth and the failures of free market capitalism, framed through the story of one investment banker’s catastrophic breakdown.

Butler adds “Musically the song is deliberately dysfunctional with an unorthodox slowed up 10/8 meter. The piano arpeggio is played forwards then backwards to symbolise the dysfunctional dreamlike beauty of the breakdown”

This album surfacing when neither artist thought it ever would gives it a gently mythology into which to step and a sense that its time has come. Feeling very much like a meeting of musical equals if this first track is anything to go by it’ll be overflowing with introspective, yet thankfully free of ego, modern classics.

Album In Memory Of My Feelings is set for release on 18 September via Needle Mythology.

Find Catherine Anne Davies: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | Bandcamp
Find Bernard Butler: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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