We’re not typically enthusiastic about solo projects from members of well-established bands, but we’re fully on board with this Will Butler album.
Merge Records press releases will tell you that Policy is American music: “in the tradition of the Violent Femmes, The Breeders, The Modern Lovers, Bob Dylan,” etc. We respectfully disagree, and instead hear the confident playfulness of a Joel Plaskett crossed with the off-the-wall exuberance of a Hawksley Workman (a perception tinted by geography, perhaps). Policy could, however, be viewed as stylistically akin to the Dandy Warhols’ Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia.
Whoever you hear in it, the one thing you won’t find on this disc is Arcade Fire knock-offs; in eight songs, Butler hits up eight distinct points on the pop spectrum. The only time he treads on brother Win’s territory is on the Reflektor-ish “Anna”—check out the video down below.
Gratifying gospel overtones will keep you tuned in to this one, including—and we reference the “Faith Off” episode of The Simpsons for a second time on The Telescope—a song (“Witness”) that could stand in as the grown-up version of Bart Simpson’s “Testify.” Policy is out today.