Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler have joined forces on For All Our Days That Tear The Heart, a collection of twelve mesmerising new songs. The meeting of an Academy Award-nominated actress and singer, and a Brit Award-winning producer and musician, feels like the tale of two distant stars coming together and forming their own constellation. It all started with a FaceTime call from Butler’s North London kitchen to Buckley’s mountaintop residence in County Kerry, with their friendship growing from an unlikely shared love of Killarney and the small island of Valentia where Butler would go on holiday as a boy. A mutual friend had a feeling they might spark. Buckley had been listening to Old Wow by Sam Lee, produced by Bernard, in the downtime between rehearsals for the National Theatre’s televised production of Romeo and Juliet. Butler had seen Jessie perform a song on an American chat show in promotion of 2018’s Wild Rose. “I remember clocking just how much character there was in her voice and how freely she expressed it,” recalls Bernard. If the project grew from a shared love and deep ancestral attachment to Ireland - Butler’s parents come from Dun Laoghaire, one of the coastal towns of Dublin Bay - then these songs swoop out from the Emerald Isle’s west coast, taking home Appalachian blues and delicate modal jazz from across the Atlantic, and taking in the bullfighting arenas of Andalusia along the way. The first song the pair wrote together, ‘The Eagle and the Dove’ - named after a book by the interwar proto-feminist writer Vita Sackville-West - set the tone for the project, and also set in motion a sense of adventure that permeates the album. For All Our Days That Tear The Heart is a remarkable work of windswept beauty and catharsis, and given that it seemed to come out of nowhere, it also feels like a gift. “More than anything, I wanted it to be joyous – properly joyous – because there is such joy in Jessie, there really is,” says Bernard. “In spite of the darkness and the intensity in these songs, I’m just flying when I listen back to them.”
Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler - For All Our Days That Tear The Heart - LP
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