Butch Walker + Bob Mould, “Father’s Day” from Afraid of Ghosts (2015): One Track Mind

Share this:

The best bet on a song about a lost father (and in particular, perhaps, one called “Father’s Day”) is that it will end up mercilessly obvious — or, worse, a mawkish string of platitudes.

Butch Walker neatly sidesteps such worries with “Father’s Day,” first with his rigorous attention to lyrical detail and then by making room for a soaringly cathartic solo by post-punk legend Bob Mould.

Recorded, coincidentally enough, around the two-year anniversary of Mould’s own dad’s passing, “Father’s Day” gave both men a chance to delve into their own sense of absence, once the take was done. Walker got a key assist in constructing the narrative from producer Ryan Adams, too.

But, ultimately, even Mould’s eruptive, song-closing turn would have little meaning if it hadn’t followed such a shatteringly personal performance from Walker at the mic. “Father’s Day” probably reads like a simple confession on the page, a declamation of love and no more. Walker’s voice, however, gives the song deeper complexities, as a range of purpled emotions color every word.

“Father’s Day” advances Butch Walker’s new album Afraid of Ghosts, due on February 3, 2015 via Dangerbird in the U.S. and Lojinx in the UK and Europe.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
Share this:
Close