Marianne Faithfull has confirmed that she will join forces with The Bad Seeds‘ Warren Ellis on her new album ‘She Walks In Beauty’, marking the singer’s first record since a near-fatal battle with COVID-19 last year.
The new collection of poetry and music is set for release on April 30 via BMG and was recorded shortly before and during the first coronavirus lockdown in the UK, when Faithfull herself contracted the virus.
Featuring contributions from the likes of Nick Cave, Brian Eno and cellist Vincent Segal, the record draws on Faithfull’s love of the English Romantic poets, which she initially developed during her A-Level studies in the 1960s.
Describing the record, Faithfull hailed the efforts of manager Francois Ravard in making it a reality.
“It was Francois who put it together and made it happen,” she said. “And it was him who persuaded Warren to commit, which was really difficult because Warren’s doing so many things.”
Ravard added: “Marianne had a wonderful idea for this poetry record, and she wanted to do it straight away.
“I loved the idea immediately, and I called Head and asked him to go to Marianne to record her readings.
“It took time for him to realise what he could do, but afterwards he said that he’d had one of the best times in his life working on it.”
The record itself sees Faithfull delivering her take on classic poems including Lord Byron’s titular poem, as well as John Keats’ Ode To A Nightingale and Lord Alfred Tennyson’s The Lady of Shallot.
“They’ve have been with Marianne her whole life,” said Ellis. “She believes in these texts. That world, she inhabits it, embodies it, and that really comes through. She really means it. It’s no blind reading. And what’s great about hearing them is that she totally takes you with her. It’s inclusive. She’s inviting you into this world with her.
“She does that with a song too. I’ve seen her do things in the studio, deliver a vocal where there’s not one dry eye in the room. And then she’d go, ‘Was that alright?’. She’s got one of those voices. There’s just something about the way she can deliver that is incredibly affecting.”
Check out the tracklis in full below.
1 She Walks in Beauty (Lord Byron)
2 The Bridge of Sighs (Thomas Hood)
3 La Belle Dame sans Merci (John Keats)
4 Ode to a Nightingale (John Keats)
5 To Autumn (John Keats)
6 Ozymandias (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
7 The Prelude: Book One Introduction (William Wordsworth)
8 Surprised by Joy (William Wordsworth)
9 To The Moon (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
10 So We’ll Go No More a Roving (Lord Byron)
11 The Lady of Shallot (Lord Alfred Tennyson)