It’s been quite a life, Marianne Faithfull’s. 2014 marks her 50th year making records, and she’s celebrated by making her 20th studio album, entitled ‘Give My Love To London’, out on September 29th via Dramatico Entertainment.
The first track to be released from the album is ‘Sparrows Will Sing’, and its a measure of Faithfull’s gravitas that it’s been written by Roger Waters, produced by Rob Ellis & Dimitri Tikovoi, mixed by Flood and features Ed Harcourt and Adrian Utley on bass and guitars.
It opens with this determined, repetitive chords, the guitar scratching overhead. Faithfull’s voice is lived in, experienced as she part sings, part recite poetic words (self penned) such as ” A child breaks the ice and peers into the hidden depths / And tries to decipher the whole of this unholy mess / I have no doubt he will figure it out some day” as she rails against modern life. The track drives onward, the piano conversing with Faithfull between lines with these little chiming figures.
Elsewhere on the record, stars have queued up to work with Faithfull. Studio collaborators include Adrian Utley (Portishead), Brian Eno, Ed Harcourt and Warren Ellis & Jim Sclavunos (The Bad Seeds) while the songwriting contributors and co-conspirators – with Faithfull penning the majority of the lyrics – include Nick Cave , Roger Waters, Steve Earle, Tom McRae and Anna Calvi.
There’s still a lot more life, especially creatively, in Marianne Faithfull yet.