David Byrne apologises for not collaborating with women on new album ‘American Utopia’

"This lack of representation is something that is problematic"

David Byrne has issued an apology for only working with male musicians on his new album, ‘American Utopia’.

The record, the Talking Heads frontman’s first solo album in 14 years, features collaborations with Brian EnoJack Peñate, Mercury Prize winner Sampha and more.

Byrne also recently shared a playlist detailing the many men that helped work on the LP.


Ahead of the album’s official release this Friday (March 9), Byrne has now taken to social media to address criticism of not collaborating with any female artists on the record.

“I’d like to thank those of you who wrote for calling attention to this – this matters a lot to me,” Byrne wrote.

“This lack of representation is something that is problematic and wide spread in our industry. I regret not hiring and collaborating with women for this album – it’s ridiculous, it’s not who I am and it certainly doesn’t match how I’ve worked in the past.”

Admitting that he had been “negligent”, Byrne added: “I am happy that we live in a time that this conversation is happening. It’s hard to realize that no matter how much effort you spend nudging the world in what you hope is the right direction, sometimes you are part of the problem.”

“I never thought of myself as being ‘one of those guys,’ but I guess to some extent I am. Your responses serve as a corrective. Thank you.”


See his full statement below:

‘American Utopia’ is streaming online now. Read NME‘s review.

Byrne has previously said that his album’s title “refers not to a specific utopia, but rather to our longing, frustration, aspirations, fears, and hopes regarding what could be possible, what else is possible”.