Pryor Stroud: Andy Stott’s Too Many Voices will be released in late April and, if “Butterflies” is any indication of its sonic blueprint, then we don’t need to steel ourselves for an abrupt departure in the Mancunian producer’s ghost-electro sound. The track crawls over a conflux of acid-rain synth textures and pixellated, press-A-to-jump video game miscellany, and the prevailing mood is one that Stott fans are already intimately acquainted with: dread stitched to a creeping sense of urgency, cognitive fogginess, the inclination that you may be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but want to stay nevertheless. The vocal — airy, sparse, R&B-inflected like a Rhye track with more punch — cares less about delivering signifiers than glazing the track in its vaporous substance; by the song’s end, this vocal has become so deeply commingled with the synth-work that you realize it doesn’t matter what it’s saying, it just matters that it’s there. [6/10]
Emmanuel Elone: I can appreciate atmospheric songs, but I can’t stand music that leaves no real impact, and “Butterflies” is an example of that. The cloudy synth production is decent, the vocals are decent, and the subtle shifts in the instrumental are decent, but nothing is great, or even good for that matter. Andy Stott sounds like he’s competing with the background music to be the most inconspicuous element in the song, and the result is a track that aimlessly wanders before fading into oblivion. [4/10]
Chris Ingalls: It sounds fresh, but at the same time, this track evokes the ’80s with the synthetic drums and plastic keyboards that leave no trace of anything organic. But it’s obvious that a great deal of care was placed in producing just the right atmosphere. The falsetto vocals are barely there — they basically just appear in the song’s middle part then drift away, replaced by subtle key changes that give the song a layered, eclectic feel. [7/10]
Chad Miller: The production is pretty interesting at the beginning. By the second half of the song though, it all gets kind of boring. There are very few moments at that point that don’t sound excessively reliant on overused samples. [5/10]
Steve Horowitz: The dancing in the video is more impressive than the music, but perhaps this needs to be appreciated all of a piece. A full moon, a subway and syrupy jams suggests that inner peace can only be found at the price of slowing down one’s consciousness. The music does that. Maybe that’s enough for some. The lethargic jam offers grace. That’s not an easy thing to do. [6/10]
Andy Stott’s new album Too Many Voices releases April 22nd via Modern Love.