Tim Bowness is persistently prolific – this is his sixth solo album in eight years, aside from collaborations and the 2019 No-Man reunion with Steven Wilson.
While those releases have stayed in close contact with the sublime, Butterfly Mind feels like the work of a reinvigorated singer, probing – gently, as ever – for new angles, avant-garde shapes within his established musical templates.
For every trademark languid ballad (Dark Nevada Dream) there’s a surprisingly virile rock-adjacent knees-up (We Feel, Only A Fool). ‘So sensitive – and hard as nails,’ he sighs, both ironic and not.
Bowness’s guest list is now reaching Elton-esque proportions, from Ian Anderson and Elbow’s Richard Jupp to Nick Beggs, Peter Hammill, Dave Formula and No-Man’s violinist Ben Coleman (revisiting after 30 years). It’s a mark of how respected his gossamer use of light and space now is, yet, with lyrics alluding to ageing and our times, this stings like a bee.