Next month, the veteran songwriter John Grant, formerly of the Czars and now just of himself, will release the new album Boy From Michigan. Grant, who is from Michigan and who now lives in Iceland, made the album with his friend Cate Le Bon producing, and the early songs all have an appealing combination of gravelly real-talk directness and lush psychedelia. We’ve already posted Grants songs “Boy From Michigan” and “Rhetorical Figure.” Today, Grant has shared another new one.
Grant’s latest track is “Billy,” the final song on Boy From Michigan. It’s a warm, hazy, melodically rich song with an arrangement that reminds me of Harry Nilsson. It’s a sort of love song, driven by a sense of loss and regret; Grant sings of himself and his subject as being “members of the cult of masculinity.” In a press release, Grant says, “‘Billy’ is a song about how many men destroy themselves trying to live up to stereotypes of masculinity and how this manifests in countless ways.”
“Billy” has a partially-animated video from directors Casey & Ewan. The clip combines wavy sci-fi imagery with contemplative black-and-white footage of Grant and another man. That press release says that the other man is the Billy of the title, who filmed his parts in Denver while Grant was in Reykjavik. Watch it below.
Boy From Michigan is out 6/25 on Partisan/Bella Union.