5 December 2014
The build up to the release of The Velvet Trail has officially begun; below is a copy of the press release
MARC ALMOND ANNOUNCES BRAND NEW ALBUM
THE VELVET TRAIL TO BE RELEASED IN MARCH 2015
Celebrated vocalist and performer Marc Almond announces the release of a new studio album The Velvet Trail for 9 March 2015 through Cherry Red Records. Marc had previously hinted that his 2010 album Varieté would be his last recording to feature his own original material. Famed English producer and songwriter Chris Braide, a huge fan of Marc's work, set to change his mind and succeeded after sending him a trio of tracks written especially for Marc.
Los Angeles based Braide - who has also worked alongside Lana Del Ray, Beyoncé, Britney, and David Guetta – was determined: "I simply had to get in touch to try and tempt him to do the exact opposite. It was such an absurd idea to think there would be no more new Marc Almond original songs. This is the man who wrote 'Say Hello Wave Goodbye' and we need more of those passionate, unique and original songs. Just like Bowie and Bolan before him, he's a true original" says Braide.
Marc explains "I felt the songwriting muse had left me, possibly forever. Then an email arrived with three instrumental tracks. I got goose bumps. I was blown away. Chris had an understanding of the chord changes I adored, of the sounds I loved; songs in minor keys with big dark dramatic pianos and strings. I sat down to write, both excited and inspired. Three songs were written in a matter of days: 'Minotaur' a dramatic song about rage and animal passions, 'Scar' a torch song about deception and 'Winter Sun', a melancholic reflective song about fading love".
Almond and Braide continued their long distance arrangement with intensity and enthusiasm. Chris would send new songs to Marc; in turn Marc would record the vocals and send files back to Chris. They would exchange several long emails a day, discussing ideas as well as music, films and T-Rex, inspiring each other as the chemistry deepened. "I didn't have to labour over lyrics, as they came to me, sometimes telling a story and often abstract, a colourful line or an image was enough", Marc remembers. To keep that chemistry unaltered, they decided not to speak on the phone until the record was complete and only then would they meet - at London's Delauney over tea.
Talking more in depth about the album, Marc adds: "Some of the songs have a more personal melancholy, reflective and evocative, like the title track 'The Velvet Trail', a song about memories, nostalgia, childhood and death. So it is too with the song 'The Pain of Never' (Chris Braide's personal favourite). Chris wanted to create his ultimate Marc Almond record, electric, lush, emotional, dark and sexy and I felt inspired by his tunes and production to deliver just that". He then explains the seamless format of the album: "Chris saw the record as one journey, one record you put on from beginning to end, linking tracks with musical interludes. This a reaction against the downloaded digital age, where individual tracks are taken or albums re-arranged in different orders. I always see my records as a show running from beginning to end that takes you on a ride".
The Velvet Trail is an album that wasn't supposed to exist - born from a spontaneous, organic inspirational process. It wasn't just written and recorded, but felt and created. For all those who love Marc Almond's work and those who just love true music and the emotions it generates, this is one not to be missed.
The 9 March release will be followed by a UK tour. "I'm really excited about the tour and the new album 'The Velvet Trail', I can't wait to perform some of the songs live" – says Marc passionately - "this will be one of the most exciting shows I've ever staged".
The Velvet Trail will be available in the following formats:
Regular CD Digipack - SFE039
Limited UK Edition CD/DVD - SFE039D
Limited Edition double LP with poster plus 2 bonus tracks - SFELP039D
Bad to Me
Zipped Black Leather Jacket
Pleasure's Wherever You Are
The Pain of Never
When The Comet Comes
Life in My Own Way
The Velvet Trail
Details of The Velvet Trail tour, along with ticket information, is available on the Live page.
1 December 2014
Marc has been added to two additional dates on the current Jools Holland Tour.He will now also be appearing as a special guest at Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, on 5 and 6 December. For tickets and further information visit the Jools Holland Tour Page.
28 November 2014
'Marc Almond' by First Third Books will be published in June 2015, with advance orders being taken from Wednesday 3 December 2014.
Marc has opened up his personal archive and, alongside contributions from the major music photographers of the last 35 years, we will present the very best images from each era. Influential music journalist Mark Paytress has interviewed Marc to provide an insightful commentary.
A strictly limited edition of 1300 copies will be available in two formats:
Music + Edition - 1000 copies with an exclusive music release (details of tracks to be announced) - £60 (Available to order in advance from 8pm GMT on Wednesday 3 December)
Standard Edition - 300 copies only - £40 (Available to order in advance from 9pm GMT on Wednesday 3 December)
The first 500 customers to order the Special Edition will receive a copy signed by Marc.
First Third Books cannot guarantee a signed copy, this is simply a bonus for those who order early. Books will be delivered in early June 2015. www.firstthirdbooks.com
27 November 2014
Little Annie, who sang with me on my Bluegate Fields show at Wilton's Music Hall and who was my special guest with Dee on my tour a few tears back, is wanting to make a new record and is hoping to raise money to do just that. I think Annie is very special and her records are wonderful, a singer in the Torch tradition, and if you feel like pledging read on
Little Annie has launched a PledgeMusic campaign to record her new album. Your gift right now will help her return to the studio without delay.
I started writing a torch/jazz-flavoured collection but the songs have a way of telling you what they want to be, and these ones had ideas of their own. I wrote with the fantastic string and horn players I've known in mind but my inner sound-sculptor has reawakened, too.
Synthesizers, noise generators, samplers… I combined all the elements I've embraced through the ages to see if they could play nice together. You don't know until you try. I feel stretched and challenged and sometimes uncomfortable, and that feels good.
There's that saying about the journey being the destination and that's really the case with this album. I don't know what the end result will be yet, but I will when we get there.
And I do mean "we". It's you and me, kid. This has always been a group effort. You have given me your precious time, listened to my work and paid hard-earned money to see the shows that are an integral part of my work. You brought me this far. Thank you.
As uncomfortable as I am soliciting your help to make this album, asking you also feels refreshingly honest and appropriate. Your love and interest have always made my music possible, and now the only path I have to continue recording music that I still feel compelled to make is with your financial support.
Thank you for your time, interest and faith in my work. Please know that your donation of any amount will have a huge impact on making this record. Bless you.
You are indeed loved
Little Annie XXX
25 November 2014
The charity Mildmay will be holding a 'joyful evening of carols, readings and spectacular performances' at St Botolph Without Aldgate, London, EC3N 1AB, on 16 December. Marc will be a special guest at this event and will present a solo performance. For further information and tickets please visit the Mildmay website.
13 October 2014
Marc has had a busy few weeks. On 22 September he sang with Holy Holy at Shepherds Bush Empire. A performance of David Bowie's classic album The Man Who Sold The World with a band that included the original rhythm section, producer Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansey, Vocalist Glen Gregory, Steve Norman on Guitar and Sax and Maggi and Lisa Ronson on Backing Vocals. Marc sang After All from the album and Watch That Man with Glen.
Marc sang at the Diversity Awards held at the Natural History Museum and on Wednesday 8 October he appeared at a special evening celebrating 100 years of ASCAP, the society of American song writers and music publishers. Marc was a special surprise guest for song writer Roger Greenaway, the retiring president of ASCAP and the co writer of Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart which Marc sang for Roger.
On 9 October he performed at the after show party at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch for an exhibition of famous photographer Bob Gruen who photographed many of the Punk Stars of the 1970's, including The New York Dolls, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and The Ramones as well as Bowie, Andy Warhol and the New York Punk Club scene. Marc sang Vince Taylor's Brand New Cadillac with a Punk/Rockabilly Super Group featuring Walter Lure ex of The Heartbreakers, Smutty Smith from The Rockats, Phil Polecat, Dave Ruffy of The Ruts and Neal X.
Marc also found time to film a clip on Southport Beach for a track from the forthcoming Velvet Trail album.
Marc is to record a special radio program for The BBC World Service and possibly Radio 4 about the life of the Russian singer Vadim Kozin. Marc recorded an album of his songs, Orpheus in Exile, which was released in 2009. Interviews for the program will be recorded in Moscow.
Marc begins the Jools Holland Autumn tour later this week in Ireland. Unfortunately he can not appear in Killarney due to a family funeral but will be in Dublin for the 17 and 18 October shows.
12 September 2014
Marc Almond Limited Edition Photobook.
"We are delighted to announce that we have started work with the wonderful Marc Almond on a limited edition photo book featuring 120 specially selected images from all eras of his inspirational career. This high quality volume will be limited to only 1200 copies worldwide and will contain Marc's personal commentary throughout. The print run includes 300 special copies signed by Marc which come with an exclusive 2 track vinyl (tracks to be announced). The book is scheduled for release in June 2015. Please join our Facebook community to be kept up to date with news on progress and the pre-order date."
First Third Books
31 July 2014
After the excellent BBC4 documentary on Northern Soul, which I briefly featured in, I dug into my archives and found some rough demos of Northern Soul songs I had intended to record properly amongst others for an album of Northern Soul songs. Sadly, it seems likely this album will never materialise as too many other projects are on the go. The tracks are Night Owl (Bobby Paris), Run Like The Devil (Kenny Roberts), Love's Gone Bad (Chris Clarke), Beautiful Day (Solomon King) and I'll Be Gone (Teddy Scott) and are now available for you to listen to via my YouTube Channel. After The Laughter Comes Tears (Gene Chandler /Wendy Rene) was also recorded live at this time but the quality isn't good enough to post. I hope you enjoy these for what they are and also discover the originals.
26 July 2014
Marc received an Honorary Fellowship for the Leeds College Of Music yesterday, Friday 25 July. Marc was very touched and honoured to receive this Fellowship in a City that has been such a big part of his musical heritage. He wishes all the music students receiving degrees that day all the luck and success in their futures.
19 July 2014
Marc recently took part in the recording of a documentary entitled Northern Soul: Living For The Weekend and it is currently scheduled to be broadcast on Friday 25 July at 9.30pm on BBC4.
9 July 2014
A DVD and CD double pack of Ten Plagues, the award winning one man song cycle, is available now. Performed by Marc Almond, with piano accompaniment from Conor Mitchell, and filmed at the historic Wilton's Music Hall, Ten Plagues tells the intense story of one man's survival through the great plague of London in 1665 whilst drawing poetic parallels to more modern epidemics. The accompanying CD in this double package features a brand new studio recording of the complete work. Ten Plagues DVD/CD package is available in stores now or direct from Cherry Red for £11.99.