Social Work


A writer, producer and recording artist with a deft regenerative hand, you never quite know what Will Butler will whip up. Now churning out infectious, gritty pop hooks under the name Social Work, Butler also appears with many artists on the Text Me Records label. Legally blind since his teens, Butler crafts his productions with a clever mix of adaptive technology and nonvisual technique to the point where people forget that he can hardly see anything.






The Bay Bridged

Not one to get cozy in a single genre, Butler opens "Underweight" with a reggae-tinted organ splashing around a reverb-drenched snare drum. Despite the island overtones, the track is unequivocally laid out with an R&B and soul blueprint. The track crawls by in just over four minutes, but listening to it captures the feel of trying to run underwater, or slicing through the high humidity of a summer day. We could play this on repeat for days.

The Bay Bridged

Heads up: The "other Will Butler," as he's known around here, just put out bass-happy track that will likely get you happy (and dancing) too. He records under the name Social Work, and "Onda" is exactly the thoughtful, groovy romp our summer needs.

SF Weekly

"Funny Dancers" is derived from a chopped-and-screwed track of the same name by fellow Oakland band Brass Magic. After a heavy dose of editing and a sprinkling of additions, Butler, who is the frontman and founder of Social Work, churned out this wholly original gem (but decided to keep the original song title for kicks). The only glimmer of the original song, he said, is the brass, which is why he suggests calling the track a "rebrass," rather than a "remix."