Paraorchestra, with Brett Anderson and Charles Hazlewood, have announced ‘Death Songbook’, a collaborative 12-track album featuring original compositions and re-imagining iconic songs exploring love, loss and transcendence by artists including, Echo & The Bunnymen, Mercury Rev, Japan, Black, Depeche Mode, Skeeter Davis, Jacques Brel and Suede. The album includes special guest performances by collaborators Nadine Shah, Gwenno, Seb Rochford (Sons of Kemet), Adrian Utley (Portishead) and is due for release on 19th April 2024 via World Circuit / BMG. Pre-order Here

During the pandemic, Charles Hazlewood (founder and Artistic Director of the pioneering Paraorchestra, the award-winning conductor who has led some of the world’s most celebrated orchestras, and Sky Arts’ Ambassador for Music) was struck by the idea of an album of “very delicate re-imaginings” of some of the most morbidly beautiful and poignantly sombre songs, entitled ‘Death Songbook’. Charles discussed the idea with friend Brett Anderson of Suede, who found it a concept close to his heart, agreeing to help curate and sing across the album’s 12 songs. “The only rule,” Charles says, “is that all the songs have to have a relationship to death or the death of love.”

Brett Anderson’s vocal performances, by turns chilling, passionate and wracked with desolation, lend a unique dark magic to the Paraorchestra’s re-imaginings. Articulated by composer/orchestrator Charlotte Harding, each composition offers little by way of adornment, instead twisting and reconstructing the songs. Released today, the album’s opening track, Echo & The Bunnymen’s ‘The Killing Moon’, becomes an unsettling concoction of shivering strings and stalking electric guitar

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