Rory Butler releases music video
Scottish singer-songwriter Rory Butler releases his third music video with artist Cameron Watt for the new single ‘Mind Your Business’.
Taken from Rory’s debut album ‘Window Shopping’ (released July 10th 2020), previous video collaborations include ‘Tell Yourself’, and ‘That Side Of The World’.
‘Mind Your Business’ was inspired by a photo series by Eric Pickersgill called ‘Removed’, in which the photographer brilliantly captured people going about their everyday life glued to their phones, then edited the devices out of their hands. The result is a comical showcase of gormless expressions and the perfect example of people disconnected from their environments; a subject matter that Rory tackles throughout his debut record. Rory’s analysis in ‘Mind Your Business’ is one of exasperation, asking questions like ‘How can I keep my guard up baby?/ When I’m living online?/ I am living on it./ Every last minute on it,/ every single second on it,/ I don’t know…’
Armed with his guitar and a tongue in cheek sense of humour, Rory’s songs dance on the dichotomy of happy tunes with a serious message. Rory veils his anguish and exhaustion at social media and trash TV with metaphors and introspective questions directed at the listener asking to examine their relationship with the digital world, and to be mindful of how to spend time connecting to others, “My main issue is that it implants a negativity in impressionable young minds. It can be damaging to younger generations where there is an ideal and image that is difficult to aspire to, and its modelling young people an impossible reality. It equates to addiction. I’ve even been caught up in it, and I resent it.”
In the build up to recording this debut, “The most exciting Scottish talent to emerge in recent times” (BBC Scotland’s Roddy Hart) Rory Butler has opened for the likes of John Paul White (The Civil Wars), folk legend Richard Thompson, Paul Weller, Lucy Rose, Eric Bibb, and Ross Wilson (Blue Rose Code). His first single ‘Black and Blue’ was included on Apple Music’s Best of the Week and Spotify's New Music Friday playlists. The track peaked at #6 on the Spotify 'Viral' chart and made it onto key ‘New Music’ playlists in Brazil, Germany, Portugal and Sweden, bolstering total world-wide streaming figures to over 800,000.
Assisting with a few co-writes on the album (tracks 7 & 8) was Crispin Hunt, chairman at the Ivors Academy and ex-vocalist of Brit-rock band Longpigs, who befriended Rory when he lived in East London for a short time, “Crispin was a guiding figure for me in the early days, and a trusted adviser. I would play him random bits of guitar work and he could piece them together and direct me to melodies, or vice versa. They’re the oldest songs on the album, and I feel like working with him had a lasting effect on my approach to songwriting.”
Instrumental to getting studio time and recruiting the musicians involved was the organisation Help Musicians (HMUK). Chris Sheehan who runs Karousel Music was another friend made by Rory during his stint in East London, and another figure who could see the great potential in him. After putting Rory in contact with the organisation, he was selected for a grant that covered recording and musician hire. Rory also worked with Gothenburg based artist Cameron Watt to create an abstract portrait of him for the album cover, satirising the ‘selfie’ photo.
Written and recorded between his hometown Edinburgh and London, Rory created ‘Window Shopping’ to channel his frustration at cyber addiction and the subsequent detachment from reality and human interaction it creates. The songs examine how certain digital platforms have led to desensitisation from what should be shocking, nonchalant feelings towards real world issues, and a warped perspective of reality.
An early career experience that had a huge effect on Rory was being invited to perform at the John Martyn gathering. The music festival-like gathering has been taking place over three days for a number of years to celebrate the life and music of John. A dream come true for Rory, who counts John Martyn among his greatest influences, he has been asked back to play every year since.