Like Arthur Russell, the late disco visionary whose work his music recalls, Andy Butler makes club jams that transcend the club. The second LP by his group, whose 2008 breakout “Blind” featured Antony Hegarty, is not about showcasing star vocalists, notwithstanding a cameo by Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke on “Step Up,” a nod to Eighties New York freestyle. Instead, it’s about Butler’s diverse songwriting: flanking idiosyncratic house jams (the single “My House,” “I Can’t Wait”) is “Boy Blue,” a soul-folk “It Gets Better” mash note, and “Blue Song,” a cryptic ballad sung over electronics and a beautifully restless clarinet line. The bonus cover of XX’s “Shelter” shows Butler is as good at re-imagining songs as imagining them.
Listen to Blue Songs: