Living legend Marianne Faithfull has shared her new spoken-word album, She Walks in Beauty. Stream it below on Apple Music and Spotify.
She Walks in Beauty is the 22nd album in the iconic British songwriter’s impressive catalogue. While Faithfull is best known for her Rolling Stones-penned 1964 hit “As Tears Go By” and her prog-rock leaning 1979 album Broken English, She Walks in Beauty is the singer’s first foray into the art of spoken word poetry. The project was created with Warren Ellis, alongside Nick Cave and Brian Eno.
Faithfull pays tribute to 19th century British Romantic poets on the album, reciting her own versions of poems from the likes of Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats, among others. Ellis built soundscapes for Faithfull to speak over in her unmistakable smoke-aged voice while Cave supplemented the recordings with swaths of piano. Eno helped produce by adding sonic textures on “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” and “The Bridge of Sighs”.
In a statement on her website, Faithfull shared that the album was a project she always dreamed of creating. She was inspired from her schooling days at St. Joseph’s Convent School in Reading, where she became infatuated with the poets. “I had a wonderful, inspirational English teacher called Mrs. Simpson,” Faithfull mused. “She introduced me to the English Romantics. I had to leave it all behind in order to be a pop singer, but I never forgot them.”
The British singer made headlines last April when she was hospitalized with COVID-19. Faithfull said earlier this year that the virus has destroyed her singing voice. Ever the fighter, the 74-year-old was still able to record most the new album after her release from the hospital.
Stream She Walks in Beauty below.
She Walks in Beauty Artwork:
She Walks in Beauty Tracklist:
01. She Walks in Beauty (Lord Byron)
02. The Bridge of Sighs (Thomas Hood)
03. La Belle Dame Sans Merci (John Keats)
04. Ode to a Nightingale (John Keats)
05. Ode to Autumn (John Keats)
06. Ozymandias (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
07. From The Prelude (William Wordsworth)
08. Surprised by Joy (Williams Wordsworth)
09. To the Moon (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
10. So We’ll Go No More A Roving (Lord Byron)
11. The Lady of Shalott (Lord Tennyson)