Prince croons, squeals and shrieks on the meditative “Why the Butterflies,” a previously unheard demo featured on the singer’s upcoming posthumous release, Piano and a Microphone 1983. The alluring sketch, which premiered at Noisey, is one of three songs on the nine-track set – along with “Wednesday” and “Cold Coffee & Cocaine” – that have never been issued in any form.
“Why the Butterflies,” like the entire album, is a 1983 cassette recording tracked in 1983 at Prince’s Kiowa Trail home studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota and recently unearthed from his Paisley Park vault. The recording is startlingly intimate and raw, full of foot taps, exploratory vocal passages and seemingly improvised lyrics (“Mama, what’s this strange?”)
The musician’s estate announced Piano and a Microphone 1983 in early September and previewed the project with a demo version of “17 Days,” the B-side to “When Doves Cry.” The album, out September 21st, also includes early takes on “Purple Rain,” “Strange Relationship,” “International Lover,” a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” and a rendition of spiritual song “Mary Don’t You Weep.” The latter track appeared at the end of Spike Lee’s latest film BlacKkKlansman.
Prince’s estate recently made his recordings between 1995 and 2010 available for streaming and released an anthology of his work from that period.