MARIANNE FAITHFULL announces new album!

‘Negative Capability’ is Marianne Faithfull’s 21st album and the most emotionally powerful of her 54-year recording career. It will be released on November 2 through BMG. Facing down arthritis and bolstered by collaborators including Warren Ellis, Nick Cave, Rob Ellis, Ed Harcourt and Mark Lanegan, Negative Capability is charged with brutal honesty and autobiographical reflection as she addresses losing old friends, her loneliness living in her adopted city of Paris yet still hopes love can come around. 

Driven by her supernatural reinterpretative skills, florid lyricism, battle against the pain she live with and realised with her stellar group of musicians, ‘Negative Capability’ is Marianne’s unflinchingly honest and relentlessly beautiful late-life masterpiece, emphasising her unique place as a force of nature in the beating heart of modern music that started opening up after ‘Sister Morphine’ ignited her muse and it was recorded by the Rolling Stones nearly fifty years ago. At that time she had enjoyed her pop career with hits such as ‘Come And Stay With Me’ and ‘This Little Bird’ then became the crown princess of the UK counterculture before grasping her artistic reins with the landmark Broken English.

Recorded at La Brette studio near her adopted home city of Paris when she’s not in her beloved Ireland, the album is inexorably overshadowed by grief at losing close friends from the ‘60s such as Anita Pallenberg, Martin Stone and Cream album designer Martin Sharp. It’s produced by both Rob Ellis – the PJ Harvey producer who’s been Marianne’s collaborator for five years and Warren Ellis from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, whose violin blesses songs such as ‘Misunderstanding’ and ‘Born To Live’ – her intensely moving eulogy to departed friend lifelong Anita Pallenberg – with the stark but lustrous autumnal beauty that makes the album. Cave co-wrote ‘The Gypsy Fairie Queen’ – inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ – and supplies backing chorale and keyboards throughout.

Marianne has long been unsurpassed when it comes to reinterpreting other people’s songs, gifted in making them her own as she digs into the words to grip the composition’s heart then provides her own unique spin by injecting every syllable with clearly enunciated but gut level emotional response. Even if she wasn’t yet aware of it, this process started with ‘As Tears Go By’ as she plugged into its character looking back at her life. She would revisit the song with the wisdom of 23 years’ experience on 1987’s Strange Weather and does again to stunning effect on Negative Capability. Sung now with the with the resonance of age and wisened experience.

Her love of Bob Dylan, who she hung out with on his 1965 UK tour, is continued with a riveting version of ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’. There’s also a remake of ‘Witches Song’ from Broken English – now a psychedelic mantra.
In her long and storied career, Negative Capability sees  Marianne composing songs with her musical collaborators more than on any previous album. Mark Lanegan supplied the music for ‘They Come At Night’, inspired by the bombings in her home city of Paris and performed at the Bataclan while they were wiping the blood off the walls. Ed Harcourt sculpted the desolately moving ‘No Moon In Paris’ that closes the album, Marianne reflecting on her remarkable life.  
The stark emotional heft, exquisitely framed by ornately sensitive musical backdrops can only be likened to the late-life works by Johnny Cash or Leonard Cohen. 

“It’s the most honest album I’ve ever made,” she says. “I’ve always tried not to reveal myself. There’s nothing like real hardship to give you some depth. I’ve had terrible accidents and I’m really damaged. It’s changed my life forever. I’m in a lot of pain and worked really hard to get strong so I can do my work. The great miracle is I was able to make this beautiful record. I really had no idea how it would turn out. I just jumped in and hoped I would be able to do it. This is all what’s happened to me since my life changed but obviously if I do something I must do it really well. 
“It’s been a real journey and I’ve learned a lot about myself and other people. It’s loneliness, but actually love is what it’s really about.”
And her all-time masterpiece.