Cover of The Jesus And Mary Chain’s Sometimes Always to feature on new Buffetlibre/Oxfam EP
Ed and Catherine A.D. - who you may have seen opening for Mr Harcourt on tour in 2013 and singing with him at Glastonbury & End of the Road - have recorded vocals for a special duet to raise money for Oxfam. It’s a cover of the classic Jesus & Mary Chain tune ‘Sometimes Always’ with music by Spanish producers/bloggers/DJs Buffetlibre. Have a listen over on The Quietus and then pick up the charity compilation.
'Parliament of Rooks' features guest vocals from Kathryn Williams and is taken from the new mini-album Time of Dust, which is available digitally worldwide on January 6th 2014 - you can pre-order yours on iTunes here. The CD release follows in the UK on Jan 20th (delayed slightly due to issues at the pressing plant/distributors over the festive season), pre-order it online now from Piccadilly Records, Amazon and Rough Trade. And the vinyl release follows on February 10th. The first single from the album ‘Love is a Minor Key’ is also released on Feb 10th.
ED HARCOURT’S NEW YEAR MESSAGE
Well hello there.
I’m sure some of you are savvy enough to know what’s going on, 24/7, at this exact point in time, right now, ears burning, eyes twitching, soul dissipating into the darker realms of smartphone/laptop/i-Fad hell. I’m guilty as hell too. I’ve been trying to ween myself off Contract Zombie Killers 2 on my phone and write some actual songs. Proving difficult. So anyway stop doing whatever you’re doing on some other applications and pay attention!
I had soup for lunch today. It was good.
I’m about to check the white label vinyl of ‘Time of Dust’. This approval process is something I have done since 2000, it’s a ritual de habitual (great Jane’s Addiction album check it out) that will never die. I’m proud to say that pretty much every record I’ve had released has righteously warranted a vinyl edition & I’m hoping you’ll like this little bridge I made with Dave Izumi Lynch in the late summer, to the next evil beast which I’m hopefully making in March with the legendary enigma that is Flood. I thought I’d tell you because Beyonce already beat me to the whole ‘don’t tell anyone’ marketing campaign and since that lunchtime soup I’ve been twerking off the walls with enthusiasm & fervour.
So let’s start with all the amazing people I’ve met and worked with this year; first up is the fantastic Kathryn Williams (http://kathrynwilliams.co.uk). I am so proud to be part of her record, Crown Electric; you could do no wrong in going out and buying this album ASAP. She’s such a brilliant writer, devastatingly prolific with a terrifying quota of quality. We wrote 2 songs in 24 hours and they thankfully made the cut, she wrote some of the lyrics in my bath. I was not in the bath but downstairs making tea. She’s very kindly returned the favour and is singing on ‘Parliament Of Rooks’ (listen above) on Time Of Dust.
Then there’s been Mark Rae & Steve Christian AKA Rae & Christian; their album is a sprawling opus of psychedelia and beats and more song-driven than ever, I had the pleasure of singing a song called ‘The Ballad of Roza Shanina’, about a female 21 year old Russian sniper from the 2nd World War, you know, the usual shit. But seriously they are mad geniuses. It also features my wife Gita on a song called ‘Still Here’ she wrote with them, a lovely song to hear in the early hours and also Masta Ace, Foster the People and many others, you should really check out this record.
Then there’s been the magnificent Laura Jansen, we wrote a song last year called ‘A Call to Arms’, that features on ‘Queen of Elba’, she’s so good live, please go and see her when she comes back to the UK; I can’t wait to write with her again (hint hint)
In April 2013 I went into the studio with Sophie Ellis-Bextor and produced her forthcoming record, Wanderlust, which we also wrote together. It was one of my favourite recording experiences; we had 10 days in State of the Ark in Richmond with an elite squad of musicians and laid down 11 tracks, pretty much 2nd or 3rd take which is how I like it and that was that. I’m incredibly proud of this record, I’m sure some of you know she’s in the final of SCD which is very exciting, I’ve been wearing my sequinned mankini for every episode. I’ll be playing with her at the Bush Hall in January 2014 and also Union Chapel in April.
I also wrote a film score for an independent US film called ‘Like Sunday Like Rain’ directed by Frank Whaley with a nice little cameo from GreenDay’s Billy Joe Armstrong; worked with Gabriel Yared who composed scores for English Patient & Betty Blue; and collaborated with my friends Blamma!Blamma! & Kristina Train on a dance track called ‘Zsa Zsa’.
There was the BeckSong Reader at the Barbican which I MD’d with David Coulter, that was so much fun especially getting to sing with Beck which was something I never thought would happen. There was WIZZAAAAAARD BOUUUUNCE. I am in process of writing with Ren Harvieu, Fem Fel & a great new singer called Kate Miller; played lots of festivals and toured a little bit of Europe. Yes that is something that’s been chewing my ear, I have not come back to a lot of places and I know some of you have been patiently waiting to see me live again or for the first time; as I have not much budget or a major label pimping me out it’s hard for me to tour and get out to see you but I’m working on changing that. Even if I don’t tour, the music won’t and can’t stop until imminent death, even in the crippling throes of writer’s block I always feel positive because I know something will eventually emerge, like a little turtle from it’s egg in the sand. Have I missed anything out? Oh the beer. That beer. You know all about that right? Oh yeah that album called Back Into The Woods, god I am so over that.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘jeez Ed’s being a little ‘chirpy’ isn’t he?’
Perhaps but I am. I am usually a misanthropic bastard but to be honest you’ll hear that in the new records.
Wait…you probably already know this from the old records.
I’m also looking forward to ageing disgracefully like some senile delinquent, once I’ve shaken off this gargoyle that resides in my chest, however the white hairs that are emerging in my beard (thanks kids) everyday are most distressing although more about that later.
On a sadder note, it seems to have been a very hard year for so many in this world, too many horrible things to mention. I don’t want to dwell on it at all as it’s very distressing, especially when it’s to do with children. I’ve mentioned these links before but please click on them if you have the time or money as they will always need our help, I’m sure you’re already aware & it’s much appreciated by the amazing people who work with these organizations (even if it’s a small something it makes a difference):
On January 6th 2014, Ed Harcourt’s new album Time of Dust will be available worldwide digitally. UK release of the CD follows on the 20th January, but you can pre-order it online now from Piccadilly Records, Amazon and Rough Trade. Alternatively, please nag your local independent record store to ensure they have a copy for you on the day of release. The vinyl release follows in February.
Dark Heart Stockists
Duchess of Cambridge
Mr Lawrence Wine Merchant
Drink of Fulham
The Bedford - Tunbridge Wells
Crown And Anchor - Brixton
The Slaughtered Lamb
One month to go until Ed Harcourt returns to Sweden, Norway and Finland…
21st - Palladium, Malmo, Sweden (Tickets)
23rd - Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland (Tickets)
24th - Svandammshallarna, Uppsala, Sweden (Tickets)
25th - Nalen, Stockholm, Sweden (Tickets)
26th - Nefertiti, Gothenburg, Sweden (Tickets)
27th - John Dee, Oslo, Norway (Tickets)
News: New London Show: 15th Nov ‘13, Islington Assembly Hall + Festival Dates + Scandinavian Tour
It has already been a busy year for acclaimed British songwriter Ed Harcourt. He released his critically celebrated sixth studio album Back Into the Woods, brewed his own beer, was the musical director for Beck’s Song Reader at the Barbican, and tickled the tear-ducts of sold out crowds on his headline tour, as well as at festivals including Glastonbury, Womad and Latitude. Amidst all of that, he found the time to put out an “album” for April Fool’s Day, meet his hero Randy Newman, and knuckle down to co-write and produce a new album for Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
2013 has been one of Harcourt’s busiest years since he started writing songs, and the workload shows no signs of stopping. The year will culminate with more dates, including a show in London at Islington Assembly Hall on November 15th - tickets for which are on sale now.
These dates will coincide with the release of a mini-album/EP of new material. The release features some very special guests, and hints at what’s to come from his “evil inspired” 7th record. More details about this release will follow soon…
21st - Palladium, Malmo, Sweden
23rd - Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland
24th - Uppsala, Svandammshallarna, Sweden
25th - Nalen, Stockholm, Sweden
26th - Gothenburg, Nefertiti, Sweden
27th - Oslo, John Dee, Norway
15th - Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK (Tickets)
Tickets for London are onsale now, priced at £16.50, doors for the show open at 7pm.
Tickets for Scandinavian dates go on sale Friday August 2nd at 9am.
Praise for Back Into the Woods (out now on CCCLX music):
“…one of the most beautiful, heart-breakingly tender albums of the last year, if not decade, if not ever.” - Clash, 9/10
“…may be his best release to date.” - The Sunday Times
“…elegant 6th album from underrated national treasure.” - Uncut
“…nine gorgeous songs that sit beautifully together.” - The Quietus
“…reflecting wistfully on William Blake and Mozart’s commercial failure…. moments of deft, delicate brilliance here to remind us of what a gifted songwriter he is…. Recorded in one night at Abbey Road…. like being in the front row of an exceptionally cosy concert…. Harcourt’s lovely oaken voice rustles and creaks as if he’s singing directly into the listener’s ear, while the piano chords seem to tremble through your skin…. breathtaking…. a subtle and seductive delight.” - BBC
“…Harcourt alone at the piano, delivering lushly romantic odes to “underdogs” and “the dreamers who pay no heed to good advice”. Lyrics casting him as a repentant roué saved by family life call for a grizzled Tom Waits groan; yet the singer’s gentler tones lend the songs a rousing, optimistic air.” - FT Weekend