Bullion Affection

Label
Ghostly International
Released
26th April 2024

Format Info

LP - clear vinyl

Bullion is Nathan Jenkins, an enduring cult figure of electronic music. A producer and songwriter quietly to be found
connecting artists, genre and UK subculture. His credits range from Carly Rae Jepsen, Ben Howard, Nilüfer Yanya and Avalon
Emerson’s breakout album & The Charm to records for Westerman and Joviale. Bullion’s celebrated solo releases, meanwhile, have
run parallel on Young, The Trilogy Tapes, Jagjaguwar and his own DEEK Recordings. It’s a creative red-thread Bullion ties together on
his surprise new album, Affection – a warm, occasionally off-kilter and beautifully realised pop record that’s bold enough to step from
behind-the-scenes and show affection in public.
Affection started life upon Nathan’s move back to London from Lisbon, where he relocated in 2018. Back then, the comfort of the
crowd suited him: self-confessedly passive and faltering by nature, the opportunity to exist somewhere without any personal history
proved liberating. Returning home, Nathan increasingly found himself reflecting on his place in the world, seeking affection in place of
cynicism.

Bullion’s music has always been difficult to pin down, but entirely distinctive – and on Affection, its rich pleasures are in hearing how
this uncompromising approach is strengthened, in part, by softening. The album wonders-aloud about the meaning of intimacy, in
relationship to others and the self. Masculinity and other contemporary concerns are punctuated by old-world charms, found in the
‘hat stands and watches’ of World_train. Influences stretch from morning swims to adolescent fears and a book of poems his Dad
wrote as a young man, in songs that are tender if not always true of Nathan himself. Affection ultimately asks how we understand
people, but in being more vulnerable at least attempts to care a little less about what they think, too.
Taking your own advice is integral to Bullion’s latest album, where Nathan applies what he’s encouraged fellow artists to do in the
studio for years: be open to adventure. Affection steps into a more emotionally-present, often playful space, with collaborators Carly
Rae Jepsen and Charlotte Adigéry gracing songs that prioritise feeling over fixed meaning. Rare, for instance, emerged during
sessions for Jepsen’s recent album in Toronto: high energy turning coy to express something ‘deep in the heart’. World_train,
meanwhile, is an eccentric and brilliantly odd angle on Bullion’s love of pop, its locomotive power summoning a lost past amidst the
uncertainties of the everyday. ‘I can hardly understand what it takes to be a real man’, Bullion sings. ‘…and nobody can’, Adigéry confirms. Still, connections – missed, imagined, or still possible – cocoon much of Affection, with Panda Bear collaboration A City’s Never emerging after Noah and Nathan lived in Lisbon at the same time but never actually met. For Bullion, the willingness to allow others into his songwriting process is as much about opening up the world of the album as it is about bettering the work and the
person.