David Butler, an up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Wentzville, Missouri, has released his latest full-length album, titled, “Arrivals and Departures.” The record includes ten original tracks and a introduction, comprising forty minutes of listening. It is categorized as pop music for its accessibility to a broad range of listeners; however, Butler's material is both more direct and mature in theme, style and lyrical diction than is often pigeonholed beside the entirety of modern pop.
Butler himself has called his sound “adult alternative music,” meaning that his songs are perhaps best appreciated by a mature, conscientious audience. “It doesn't work as simply background music or party music,” he says. “It takes hold of the imagination and draws attention to its lyrics... It's music listeners can use. It speaks for them in very common situations.”
The album's cover art exemplifies such a situation: fetching one's baggage from an airline conveyor (in this case, Butler retrieving his guitar). This blue-collar feel underlies the fabric of “Arrivals...” and keeps it personal, but the LP is extremely refined in a multitude of ways.
Butler's voice and singing style, for instance, share much of the phrasing, precision vibrato, and tonal qualities of a less-ostentatious and somewhat more folk-minded Michael Jackson – if this can be imagined. His aforementioned lyrics are penned with an evident and almost-surgical care. The instrumentation of “Arrivals...” includes the guitar, bass, and percussion combination that is native to the pop-rock genre, but also pianos, violins, violas, cellos, and even a contrabass (stand-up bass played with a bow – a sort of super-cello). Butler himself executes the guitar, piano, and violin, and administers the arrangements for the rest as well, drums included.
“I write what I feel passionately about at the time,” he says of composing, “and remember to put it simply and honestly. I say boldly what I want to say.” Butler's goals are lofty in terms of more than mere artistic merit, though. He aims his work toward a selfless kind of musical humanism. He says of his creative direction, “When my music plays, I want it to be this brilliant, irreplaceable, timeless art that helps my listeners.”
“Arrivals and Departures” by David Butler is available worldwide beginning February 9, 2013.