Announcements: Brett Anderson to feature on Paraorchestra’s ‘Death Songbook’

Suede vocalist and lyricist Brett Anderson is set to feature on Death Songbook, an elegiac record performed in collaboration with Paraorchestra. Charles Hazlewood, Nadine Shah, Gwenno, Seb Rochford and Adrian Utley are all set to appear on the album. The album features a selection of songs that have been reimagined to fit an orchestra. Songs on the album include tracks by Echo & The Bunnymen, Mercury Rev, Japan, Black, Depeche Mode, among others. 

Anderson, who explored the death of love on the sprawling Dog Man Star album in 1994, was captivated by the concept. “The Death Songbook was an idea Charles came up with during the bleak days of lockdown,” Anderson recalled. “As soon as he suggested it, I was sold. I loved the idea of curating a suite of songs about loss and sadness and regret. I’ve always found happy songs depressing, it’s been the murkier themes that have somehow sounded more joyous to me. Songs about doubt and fear and grief confront feelings we all struggle with, so to know that we are not alone in that fight can be quietly life-affirming.”

The majority of the album was recorded in an afternoon during lockdown. In an effort to meet Covid restrictions, the performers honoured protocols of social distance measures in the Donald Gordon Theatre; the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. One track has been issued on YouTube: A cover of ‘The Killing Moon’, sung by Anderson, in the presence of a large orchestra and chamber of percussionists. 

The album will be accompanied by two live shows: The first at at London’s Roundhouse, which will happen on April 24th, and another will occur at Manchester’s Aviva Studios, home of Factory International (April 26th.) Death Songbook is predicated on the pretext that the subject of death, or the death of love, is firmly cemented in the world of rock.