The Bilinda Butchers album Heaven is a soundtrack to the diary of Nakajima Ume, a young woman who lived in Japan from 1836 to 1864. Based in San Francisco, the Bilinda Butchers share their name with the My Bloody Valentine vocalist and guitarist, whose namesake once said, “If I’d been a guy I would have been named Bill, but since I was a girl it became Bilinda.” To be released next week via Orchid Tapes on July 15th, the full-length album was conceptually inspired by Ume’s journal:

The diary’s entries catalog her catastrophic marriage to a cruel nobleman, and her later introduction to a young, idealistic poet whose expressions of sympathy inspire her to escape from her unfortunate circumstances. When her friendship with the poet is discovered, Ume is sent away to a distant village, where she falls into a deep depression and eventually learns of the poet’s death. Though the news of the poet’s death initially disturbs Ume, she soon discovers within herself a new sense of clarity and motivation. Her diary ends with a final pronouncement: she will drown herself in order to reunite with her fallen lover.

Listen to “Golden House” featuring Sarah Psalti from their forthcoming album:

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To pre-order the limited 12″:…chers-heaven


Jennifer Patchett
Big Sonic Heaven Contributing Writer