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The Honeymoon Suite
No Longer Living In Your Shadow
Butterfly Child created some of the most luxuriant, romantic and intoxicating music to be released in the 90s. Based around tumbling jazz rhythms, glacial guitars and the bewildered voice of Joe Cassidy (Belfast, Northern Ireland), the project began in 1991, releasing two EPs on AR Kane's h.Ark! label. Onomatopoeia, Butterfly Child's debut collection of precarious pop collages was a revelation, a masterpiece: Melody Maker's Taylor Parkes judged the album's seductive, celebratory pop to be "Astral Weeks at five years old . . . like trampolining in a conservatory flooded with sunlight." The follow-up, The Honeymoon Suite, sounded utterly inebriated on love with lines like "Bang goes your head, the light bulbs flash/You know what it's like on one of those days/You're so inspired, it's like the rockets are tied to you" ("Ghost On Your Shoulder") arousing the unmatched joy of a newly-formed relationship. The lyrics to the album's final song "I Shall Hear In Heaven" were even arranged in acronymic fashion so that the first letters of each line spelled out the name of Cassidy's lover, to whom the album was dedicated. Aborting recording sessions in the UK, Cassidy relocated to Chicago, USA to record his third album. Curiously, Soft Explosives drew occasional comparison to Oasis, a band previously perceived as Butterfly Child's emotional and aesthetic antithesis. The touching, elegant result of recordings sessions with a quartet of drummers and a 12-piece orchestra, the album seemed to provide a counterpoint to The Honeymoon Suite's love-struck deliriousness. Yet while the album may have ended with the poignant "The Sound Of Love Breaking Apart", on tracks like "Big Soft Mouth" and "Drunk On Beauty", Butterfly Child still sounded smitten: "If you've ever been drunk in a pub, staring at someone beautiful, just watching them move, in a blur, this was probably the music in your head," judged US magazine Pitchfork of the release.