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Butterfly Child – A Shot In The Dark EP & Futures

A Shot In The Dark is the new EP from dreampop act Butterfly Child. It features the title track, remixed by production maestro Stephen Hague after the original version appeared on last year’s Futures album. The EP also includes four original tracks plus another reworking (the orchestral version of ‘Holding On’). If you were not aware of their releasing an album in 2015, worry not, you’re in good company. We missed it too, which is a tragedy to be quite frank. The album is glorious. Speckled with dreampop delights and front-loaded with excellence to draw the listener in and not let go, it made for the perfect comeback.

Butterfly Child is essentially the performing vehicle for Joe Cassidy. Irishman Joe currently resides in California, which makes perfect sense to me. His music always merited bluer skies than these shores. The guy also bears an uncanny physical resemblance to a friend of mine, also a musician. I fear for the time-space continuum if ever their paths should cross.
Butterfly Child came to the fore in the early nineties after coming to Peel’s attention and signing to A.R.Kane‘s H.ark! label. Indeed A.R.Kane became the band most likened to in the case of Butterfly Child. The comparison isn’t far wide of the mark. I saw Butterfly Child as providing the ‘And’ in ‘Shoegaze And Dreampop’, blending elements of both genres, as well as others, as we will come onto shortly. In truth, even in the early nineties, Butterfly Child had throwback elements to their music, most obviously the late eighties ‘oceanic’ movement. The groups that predicted shoegaze if you like – Talk Talk, Dif Juz, House Of Love, Kitchens Of Distinction….. even back to Cocteau Twins. Possibly further still. Of all the acts of that time, arguably Cassidy’s work was the least reliant on guitar effects, such was the songwriting strength on display. There’s a sixties vibe to much of his work. Listen to ‘You Are Not A Lonely Place’ from the EP and it’s positively Beatles-esque.

Lucy In The Sky With Butterflies.

Shoegaze and dreampop have returned to public attention in recent years. However before the likes of Slowdive and Ride polished up their pedal arrays and hit the road again, this type of spacey pop music was in the custody of electronica acts such as Manual and m83. The new Butterfly Child material may not be electronic in its entirety, but I see a dotted line from such bands, (and I’d include Daniel Land and Maps into this) to Butterfly Child now and back to Butterfly Child of the nineties.


Futures has both power and intimacy. Too many highlights to mention them all, but ‘Lost In These Machines’ provides plenty of climactic oomph. As to the EP, Hague’s remix gives ‘A Shot In The Dark’ a kind of pastoral sheen. Cassidy’s voice has never sounded so good. This goes for both releases really. The gasps and croaks that punctuated full debut Onomatopoeia are a thing of background colour only. Yet, his absolute joy of wording and phraseology remains. Somehow Cassidy sounds unfettered and free on these comeback releases. Happy even, though not in a way which sometimes blunts creativity (I’m looking at you, Robin Proper-Sheppard).

Pick up the album post haste. Made entirely by himself, (past Butterfly Child incarnations have been full band affairs) Futures is probably Joe’s most personal output to date. The soonest you hear this you’ll want the EP as well.


“Sun is shining
Birds are singing
Flowers are growing
Clouds are looming
And I am flying”

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