Watch Valparaiso’s video of the song “Fireplace” feat. Rosemary Standley of Moriarty, taken from the critically acclaimed long-player Broken Homeland. It’s directed by photographer Richard Dumas and Amaury Voslion.
“She, somnambulist, wanders in a bourgeois house, seeking for a sound and a distant voice. She is a woman under the influence, persuaded: she does not belong to herself anymore. She does not even recognize the man with whom she is sharing her life with” explain Thierry & Hervé Mazurel about the music video, citing John Cassavetes movie as inspirational source of this noir sequel of “Rising Tides” (feat. Howe Gelb and Phoebe Killdeer) and French counterpart “Marées Hautes (feat. Dominique A).
The Parisian musical collective deriving from the cult band Jack The Ripper released its first album as Valparaiso on September 22nd, featuring the voices and poetry of Phoebe Killdeer of Nouvelle Vague, Howe Gelb, Shannon Wright, Spain’s Josh Haden, Dominique A, Moriarty’s Rosemary Standley, Venus’ Marc Huyghens, Mansfield Tya’s Julia Lanoë. The album is recorded, mixed and produced by John Parish.
John Parish, Howe Gelb, Dominique A and Joah Haden on Broken Homeland:
I was approached initially by Hervé. I’m always a little apprehensive about projects involving a lot of different artists because of the difficulty of making a cohesive record out of it. But listening to the demos, I felt the band had a very distinctive sound, and the choice of artists – all great and characterful – seemed sympathetic. So there was a possibility of getting all the elements to work in harmony. That was the challenge. I think we made it.
“When a singer is invited to feature a musical session, the quality of the performance mainly depends on the composition the musicians have shaped for him. With the guys from Valparaìso, as it happened in the past within The Fitzcarraldo Sessions, singing on their music is a pleasure, and it happened to be very simple. We did not have to go in too many directions because the music is inspired and inspiring, with some references particularly well assumed. There is something obvious in the fact that they feel instinctively what music will fit with which singer’s personality. And they have the intelligence not to constrain the singer with too many directions about the lyrics and the vocals. So it was quite easy for me to write those words. They work the way I like to work, with the courtesy of leaving all doubts behind during the session.”
destiny has its own way of notifying.
in tucson there was a french duo known as “amor belham” featuring naim amor (who recently played on “future standards”) on guitar and thomas belham on drums. they were a mesmerizing and dynamic duo.
howe received an invitation from thomas belham to possibly assist in a recording session that was scheduled in bristol with howe’s old pal john parish
howe accepted not knowing what he was getting into, per usual, but solely based on thomas’s invite and john parish
when howe got there, he was then instructed to write lyrics and a vocal melody to a song being recorded there that say with the band thomas was playing with: valparaiso
howe digs this kind of challenge.
so he took a rough mix of this newly recorded song and escaped back to his hotel for a couple hours to work on his part. he returned before the day’s session was over to execute his part in it and sang the newly penned lyrics to “the allure of della rae”.
he didn’t know who della rae was. she came to him in the gauze of afternoon jet lag to inform him of her story. howe just wrote it down accordingly with melody attached.
the next day the challenge was upped with the inclusion of a collaborator named phoebe killdeer.
howe was enchanted with her voice. it made him dizzy.
so they worked up some lyrical story line based upon the scrawling phoebe had already sketched out. and it went on from there.
the band recorded a never heard before new tune in the morning, and phoebe and howe took it and worked up lyrics and a vocal melody for the rest of the recording day, executing it before the finish that evening.
the band was of the blend howe has found most inspiring in music: partly improvised founded on a well thought out idea.
working with phoebe was equally dreamy.
all of this being in the hands of john parish made it reliable no matter what the challenge was that day
this what you hear now is the end result
“I am very honored to have been invited to sing on the debut record by Valparaiso. I was a big fan of Fitzcarraldo Sessions as well as old friends with Joey Burns from Calexico, and love both tindersticks and Tuxedomoon, all of whom sing on that album.
When they sent me the music for the song that became “Constellations” they asked if I wanted to hear any other songs instead, but i said there was no need, it was perfect for me. The lyrics are about seeing yourself reflected in the universe. I’m really glad they liked it, and am very pleased with John Parish’s production. I think we were reading each other’s minds on this one.”