On Friday, David Byrne will release his first solo album of new material in 14 years, which is a big deal from the former Talking Heads leader to say the least. Sure, he’s collaborated with the likes of St. Vincent, Brian Eno, and Fatboy Slim in the interim, but a record with just Bryne behind the wheel has been a long time coming.
Except that American Utopia is actually filled with collaborations. Eno is on it, along with 0neohtrix Point Never mastermind Daniel Lopatin and Sampha. Looking through the album credits, you’ll find a lot of people actually helped out Byrne on the record, but you won’t find many women among them. And this is a problem.
In an apology posted to social media, Byrne directly addressed criticism that his record lacks for female contributions. After thanking those that called it to his attention, he did not mince words, calling the omission “ridiculous” and saying it is something that he regrets. “This lack of representation is something that is problematic and wide spread in our industry,” Byrne said, while noting that his live show and how he’s worked in the past do not necessarily reflect the same optics as his album.
You can check out the full apology note below, which Byrne says serves as a corrective. American Utopia is out on Friday. You can read our interview with Byrne here.