Thanks for joining me for a very special episode of the Zappagram podcast.
“I always feel jealous when I see my friends dead on the news…”
This is how Butch Bastard opens his latest album, Las Vegas Salvation, cleverly setting up the listener for what can best be described as the musical orgasm that follows.
When the album was released in April 2023, I immediately called it my Album of the Year, knowing full well that there were still eight months to go before year’s end. However, for me, there would be no other album released this calendar year to rival this one. I stand by that assertion today, nearly four months later.
Butch Bastard is the moniker of exceptionally talented, Seattle-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Ian Murray. His debut LP, 2018’s I Am Not A Man, is a brilliant album in its own right, the seeds of greatness featuring prominently on timeless songs like the jaunty swagger of “Gentrification Song” or the dreamy slow-burner “You Ain’t Half My Woman.”
Even still, on Las Vegas Salvation, Ian’s artistic evolution and growth as a songwriter is evident and impressive. Citing Bob Dylan as one of many inspirations, his lyrical prowess stands on its own as a shining example of the fact that virtuosic artists still exist and continue to emerge from the modern-day hodgepodge landscape of musical mediocrity in which we too often find ourselves mired.
Singing the praises of Murray as an artist with a distinctly charming voice, and of the songs on this album both melodically and lyrically, still misses the fact that the song arrangements and production quality here are a masterclass in how to make the perfect album.
I recently saw down to talk with Ian about his music, his influences, touring with Father John Misty, and his new album Las Vegas Salvation.
I’m stoked to share that conversation with you all. After you listen to our interview, check out butchbastard.com for music, videos, merch, and more!
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