Making a new album…

…doesn’t happen very often. So I’m excited. I’m also excited to be working with composer and producer Paul Ressel, who’s worked previously with Bryn Christopher and Lana Del Rey. We’re still at the preproduction stage, which means arranging strings and experimenting with a pallette of instruments for each of track (as well as drinking a lot of coffee). Actual recording will take place over three days in early November, with mixing and mastering to follow before Christmas. I’m also excited to have the kind support of the Arts Council for the project, which I’m provisionally entitling Blue Roses.

Where I Am Not The Night aimed to explore an accumulation of experiences and reach a kind of emotional closure, this new album is going to do something different. It started with the song, Elegy, that featured on I Am Not The Night. In Elegy, as I’ve explained so often at gigs, I sing from the viewpoint of the ageing Broadway actress Margo Channing in the movie All About Eve. All About Eve happens to be my favourite film of all time, with the sparkiest, razor-sharpest script from Joseph L. Mankiewicz (sample exchange: ‘Get out.’ ‘You’re too short for that gesture’) and a performance from Bette Davis that veers sublimely from subtle to histrionic. The theme of professional and personal female jealousy, and what it means to be a woman, is minutely explored against the backdrop of New York Theatreland. I wanted to take one of the turning points of the film – the scene where Margo, in the middle of the night, sinks back on her pillow, lights a cigarette and knows that the seemingly defenceless Eve is trying to steal her lover (and possibly her career, too). The song I wrote, Elegy, takes that particular scene as its starting-point.

all about eve

And what I’m going to do, for this next album, is take a text, or a movie, or a poem, and use that as the basis for each song. I’ve chosen the stories that I love best, both ancient and modern, some of which I’ve loved for years and others only recently discovered. It’s a kind of ode to the process of bricolage, and a way of using voices that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to incorporate.

So… there will be more updates soon. For now, you can listen to Elegy over at my music page.