Songs for the Dead

GB 153CD GB 153CD

Following her thrilling 2022 duo EP with Iggy Pop (The Dictator) Belgian composer/musician Catherine Graindorge returns with a luminous ensemble album. Instrumental and vocal songs of life, love and death. Inspired by mythologies and elegies from the Greeks to the Beats. Over the years, Catherine Graindorge has worked with an incredible cast of collaborators, including Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Hugo Race, and producer John Parish (PJ Harvey). But for Songs for the Dead she wanted a small, tight ensemble, so she called on regular collaborators Simon Ho on keyboards, and bassist Pascal Humbert (16 Horsepower, Lilium, Détroit) who both know her and her music well. Best known as the vocalist with And Also the Trees, Jones's voice gives the lines gravity, a delivery between singing and speaking. "I recorded demos of the music I'd written and sent them to him," Graindorge recalls, "then he returned them with his ideas for the words. He understood what I was looking for." Things coalesced quickly, and by the time they went into the studio "almost everything was written, so we didn't need to discuss much. We took six days to record the album, then another five to complete the mixing." All the mixing was analogue, Graindorge explains because "it's warmer, and it makes more sense to me with my instruments and the way I write, acoustically on violin and viola. More like baroque music, in a way." Songs for the Dead is quite deliberately an album that gives space for the imagination, "where people can come and go in the music," Graindorge says. And there's plenty to explore in the stories of Orpheus and Eurydice and Ginsberg's dream meeting with Joan Burroughs. Myths ancient and modern. Legends and stories. "I like to tell a story," she says. "I come from theatre, and I'm also an actor. These are narratives, questions and answers that relate and connect to each other."