Bobby Gillespie & Jehnny Beth - 'Utopian Ashes'

7/10

It almost feels like a collaboration that is too good to be true. While Bobby Gillespie has led Primal Scream for over thirty years through a broad and diverse mix of directions over the decades, Jehnny Beth is very much part of a new generation of artists who has built a reputation for bold and shimmering aesthetics with her solo work outside of her formative group Savages. So the idea of the two of them coming together to create something new and interesting is almost the work of fiction. Yet here we are and the pair have now dropped their new joint album 'Utopian Ashes', a record that sees them both learning from each other.

Since the album was first announced, the speculation behind the release was immediately sent into overdrive. After all, these two almost seem like two opposing ends of the same direction, but together they have found this intrinsic middle ground that sees them pursue ideas outside of each of their comfort zones. From the start, 'Utopian Ashes' is a record that takes a few goes before you finally get into it. Opting for a more solemn and sombre intention than we were expecting, it swoons and croons its way through a rich web of subdued instrumentation to create a warming and heartfelt effort throughout.

While we can't say it is likely to become an instant classic over the next few months, 'Utopian Ashes' still makes for a captivating listen, especially given the names involved in the project. Both Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth seemed to be on very different paths before this announcement, but now we can see what attracted them both to each other on here.

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