IT’S entirely conceivable, I suppose, that you won’t know Beth Hirsch by name, but if you were at any kind of laidback all-back-to-mine or small hours session or summer blissout from summer 1998 on, it’s certain you know her glorious, honeyed tones.
Why so? Twas Beth that gave her vocal grace to that absolute peak of space age Gallic chillout, Air’s Moon Safari: she lends both her lyric-writing and her voice to “You Make It Easy” and the outright classic “All I Need” – which she’s commissioned a remix of and which features on her debut album, Love Is For Everyone – L.I.F.E, which is due for release on September 11th.
You’ll find the animated lyric video embedded below. Amour Records’ ELIOT strips back that Fender Rhodes sundaze of the Air original and takes the track for a sophisticated spin out after dark, the beats skeletal and spacious.
But how did an American au pair in Paris come to grace one of the most elegant and most universally loved albums of the past quarter-century?
Serendipity, it would appear; right place, right time. She lived in the bohemian Montmartre arrondissement of Paris, as did Air’s Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel; “Nicolas was my neighbour, but I didn’t know him,” says Beth.
She was working on her own EP with Nouvelle Vague’s Marc Collin; one morning Godin was sitting on the studio couch.
“I asked him if he was in music and he replied, ‘Yes, I am. Actually, my partner and I are putting out a record, and we’d like you to be on it,’” she says.
“They showed me a couple of tracks and I happened to really like them. You could just tell their sense of melody was so strong. I felt very drawn to it.”
Hirsch wrote the lyrics and melody for “All I Need”, but the original has evaded a retouch for more than 20 years now: “People have offered or suggested to me over the years to remix it, and I’ve never really jumped on board,” she says; “while working in the studio with ELIOT two years ago in Greece, he mentioned he’d really like to remix ‘All I Need’ and showed me the sketch. I thought: ‘This is so cool, let’s just do this.’”
The ELIOT remix of “All I Need” follows the album’s opening track, the deep house-pop glamour of “Allison Something” as a single-release teaser for Love Is For Everyone – L.I.F.E., which will be released on September 11th. Follow Beth at www.bethhirsch.com