"Being a musician for generations is beautiful," Will Butler tells Apple Music. "There's nothing wrong with that. It's a beautiful history. But there's also many thorny and terrible ways in which how we are today is influenced by the last 400 years that's going to take some serious undoing." The Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist (and, yes, the son and grandson of renowned musicians) tackles his own privilege throughout the 10 tracks on his second solo album, Generations. While it's not inherently political, the uncertainty of the past four years directly impacted the project's writing and recording. "I think a lot of us have been like, 'My god, how did we get here?'" says Butler. "Just in a larger political sense, like, 'What the fuck has happened, even?'"
Generations is littered with tracks that explore those feelings. Butler views "Bethlehem" as the record's most aggressive track. "I don't know if it's exactly angry, but it's related to anger, and despair, and I don't know, it feels very of the time," he says. The soulful "Close My Eyes" and the satirical opera of "Fine" dig deeper into Butler's personal history. "'Fine' always felt like an author's note, and it made sense at the end," he says. "It touches on everything I've talked about, and then it deepens it and goes in a couple of different directions." Ultimately, Generations seamlessly meshes both feelings into one vitriolic album. "[The album's] structured like a conversation. Something happens, but you feel changed at the end," explains Butler. "But all that happened was a back-and-forth that's a little bit mysterious, but there was structure in that end as well, but it's hard to figure out why you make certain choices."