One for Friday: The Builders and the Butchers, “No Roses”


Well, there’s no real reason to start the new year with something chipper and upbeat, is there? The Builders and the Butchers are a beautifully artful and occasionally morose folk-rock band out of Portland, Oregon. Led by singer-guitarist-songwriter Ryan Sollee, the band deliver music that is at once strangely timeless and sharply current. At first listen, it can seem like they’re engaged largely in a act of preservation, but there are layers that which make it clear that they are simultaneously committed to moving forward, exploring the dark corners of songs in a protracted attempt to make their music singe with the heat of tense emotion. Individual songs, like “No Roses,” sound as if they’re meant to leave the audience fully spent by the closing chords.

“No Roses” is taken from Western Medicine, the band’s latest full-length release. A committed record store proprietor should be able to secure a copy for any interested buyer, or it can be purchased straight from the label (including, they report, a few vinyl copies with minor cosmetic damage, which will only make them look tougher and cooler, I assure you). And there’s plenty more where that came from.

Listen or download –> The Builders and the Butchers, “No Roses”

(Disclaimer: New year, new rules! Well, sorta. Usually, I take this space to testify that I believe a song to be out of print, at least for physical purchase, and therefore fair game for sharing. That is still my preference when selecting songs. Sometimes, though, I simply want to do my small part in calling attention to great music, encouraging folks who might stumble upon this page to go out and support bands, performers, live music venues, and local independently-owned record stores with actually exchanges of U.S. currency. So that’s what I’m up to today. I still think this is fair game — or, to use the term that should have legal weight, fair use — but will gladly remove this digital track from my little corner of the digital world if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)

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