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Thursday 26 March 2020

Savage's Singer Jehnny Beth's New Solo Offering Asks Us To Face The Human Truth That Evil Exists In The World

Best known as the lead singer and co-writer of UK band Savages (whose first gig was as support to British Sea Power in Brighton), Jehnny Beth has spent the band's down time recording her solo album, To Love Is To Live.
Credit Steve Gullick

Ahead of the album's May release, Beth has dropped the video for her new song, Flower, which is directed by Anthony Byrne (Peaky Blinders). 

It's Beth's second cinematic collaboration with Byrne; the first was the video for I'm The Man.

"If the album has a theme," Beth told The Guardian, it is "the multiplicity and complexity of being human". 


She mentions raging single I'm the Man, where she embodies a hated figure: 

"There's no bitch in town who doesn't understand how hard my dick can be," she sneers. 

She is disappointed - she continued to tell The Guardian - to see it labelled a "gender song"; for her it was about how "we sometimes love people who have done things that we think are monstrous, but we can't deny that we belong to the same humanity." 

"We have to face the human truth that evil exists in the world." 

The track was part of the Peaky Blinders soundtrack; the song was first featured in the fourth episode of the show"s last season.

"I'm The Man" is one of only three unreleased tracks on the soundtrack, and was hand chosen for inclusion by Peaky Blinders' acclaimed director/writer Anthony Byrne during the editing of the last season.  

Says Jehnny Beth about the track:  

""I'm The Man' is an attempted study on humankind, what we define as evil and the inner conflict of morality. 

"Because it is much easier to label the people who are clearly tormented by obsessions as monsters than to discern the universal human background which is visible behind them.  

"However, this song has not even a remote connection with a sociological study, collective psychology, or present politics; It is a poetic work first and foremost. Its aim is to make you feel, not think."  


Flower sees Jehnny Beth heading in completely different sonic territory to I'm The Man, taming the former's tempestuous pulse into something simmering and sensual.  

Written about a pole dancer at notorious strip club Jumbo's Clown Room in Los Angeles, the song details the complicated depths of sexuality tangled in a fever dream reverie of desire and loss. 

The album itself, which was recorded in Los Angeles, London, and Paris, features a number of collaborators, including producers Flood, Atticus Ross, longtime co-creator Johnny Hostile, and Adam 'Cecil' Bartlett, and guest turns from The xx's Romy Madley Croft, actor Cillian Murphy, and IDLES' Joe Talbot. 
 
In addition to releasing To Love Is To Live this spring, Beth will also be releasing Crimes Against Love Manifesto (C.A.L.M.), her first book featuring a collection of her erotic short stories along with photography from longtime creative partner, Johnny Hostile. 

C.A.L.M.
Crimes Against Love Manifesto:
 
because a life lived in fear is equal to no life at all
I won't gamble our existence on the fickle world of 'what will they think'
and wake up one day thinking I have wasted the wonderful fact of my own existence
I won't worry about fear, jealousy, solitude
the system that weighs duty against desire and pronounces desire the looser
they're all byproducts of love
unavoidable obstacles implanted in our core
by generations of parents, grand-parents and all the people
who fall in love and yet are unhappy
and who blaming themselves for having lived too timidly
will attack me for having dared
I live on the other side of their wall
I break through their rules of loving
searching for my own alternative ways
no matter the morals agreed collectively
the prudishness and punishments
the accepted forms of loving, family, monogamy
and far too much imprisonment
in secret, in the safety of my apartment, inside our heads
I will create a space where they don"t belong
a place where I am free
my neighbours won't know about it
my family won"t know about it
and those who think they can be part of it
but haven't made the sacrifice
are not welcome
there, I will practise my secret rituals
with those who have defeated their fears
days and nights, out of sight and silently

Check-out Jehnny Beth's video for Flowers HERE. Her new album, To Love Is To Live, is out on 8th May 2020 and can be pre-ordered by CLICKING HERE. 

by: Mike Cobley




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