Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth – Utopian Ashes (Album review)

Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie and Savages frontman Jehnny Beth aren’t necessarily a couple most people could put together, but in truth neither have strictly adhered to their career boundaries. Seeing their names side by side on ‘Utopian Ashes’ is a curiosity, and yet it works.

The concept behind the album details two lovers as they travel the world of divorce and while Gillespie and Beth aren’t in love, they do a great job of making you feel like it’s their experience.

They breathe life into the emotions surrounding events such as divorce – grief, anger, betrayal, hope, peace – and their dynamics offer a glimpse into the harsh reality of this roller coaster. It may strike a little too close to home for those who have gone through a difficult breakup.

But “Utopian Ashes” also offers a sense of irony to the concept as Gillespie and Beth work wonderfully together. Their vocal harmonies, especially on Your Heart Will Always Be Broken, weave around each other, providing a sense of familiarity that some desire as they go through a life-changing storyline.

Along with their breathtaking interaction, the duo seemingly understood the classic country style of complementing each other’s sung lyrics – exchanging heartbreak-tinged insults, or finally being able to open up about their feelings with a palpable sense of relief.

Gillespie and Beth got out of their way and caught us off guard with a delicate and emotional approach. ‘Utopian Ashes’ is a testament to the talent and innovation they possess, and their daring exit from the beaten track is what keeps them going throughout. As painful as the album is emotionally, it’s a partnership that works with such grace that it would be a bummer not to see more in the future.

Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth Upcoming Tour Dates are the following:

Sun 07 November 2021 – EDINBURGH Edinburgh Queens Hall
Mon 08 November 2021 – GLASGOW Pavilion
Wed 10 November 2021 – LONDON Earth (Theater)
Thu 11 November 2021 – LONDON Earth (Theater)
Saturday 13 November 2021 – MANCHESTER Manchester Cathedral
Sun, November 14, 2021 – BRIGHTON Theater Royal

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