Ahead of the LP’s release on Third Man Records on July 2nd, the duo has shared the first single “Remember We Were Lovers.” The track and the album are inspired by the country soul sound of Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris, George Jones, and Tammy Wynette and focus on the breakdown of a fictional couple’s marriage.
“In the same way you create characters for a novel, we’ve created characters here,” Beth said in a statement. “But you put yourself in it because you’re trying to understand the human situation. The singing has to be authentic. That’s all that matters.”
Gillespie added: “When you write a song you marry the personal with the fictional and make art. I was thinking about two people living alone, together but apart, existing and suffering in a psychic malaise, who plow on because of responsibilities and commitments. It’s about the impermanence of everything — an existential fact that everyone has to face at some point in their lives.”
The seeds of the collaboration were first planted in 2015 when the two singers were part of a Suicide tribute concert in Paris. The next year, Primal Scream invited Beth to join them onstage for a cover of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s “Some Velvet Morning.” The recording sessions began in Paris in 2017, with Beth’s Savages cohort Johnny Hostile and Primal Scream’s Andrew Innes, Martin Duffy, and Darrin Mooney joining the singers.
After initial recording sessions yielded a sound similar to the electronic stylings of Savages and Primal Scream, the duo eventually shifted to cosmic country. “I wanted to put pain back into music. I wasn’t hearing a lot of it in modern rock music,” Gillespie added.
Third Man plans to issue Utopian Ashes on vinyl shortly after the album’s July 2nd release; preorder information will be announced soon.
Beth released her solo debut To Love Is to Live in 2020. Primal Scream last released their Chaosmosis in 2016.
Utopian Ashes Tracklist
1. Chase It Down
2. English Town
3. Remember We Were Lovers
4. Your Heart Will Always Be Broken
5. Stones of Silence
6. You Don’t Know What Love Is
7. Self-Crowned King of Nothingness
8. You Can Trust Me Now
9. Living a Lie
10. Sunk in Reverie