LISTEN TO THE ALBUM SAMPLER HERE
With the impending apocalypse on everyone’s minds in 2019, LE CYGNE NOIR, goes one further this September as he maps out his vision of the future with an exhilarating new concept album: ‘Shadow Of A Wrecking Ball’.
Spewing forth his paranoid delusions of the planet’s imminent destruction to a soundtrack of electrifying synth-skewered prog rock, ’Shadow of a Wrecking Ball’ is a wildly ambitious debut from an enigmatic and essential new solo artist.
Transporting the listener from a terrifying global zombie pandemic through to the catastrophic End of the World as we know it, Le Cygne Noir’s startling new album is a dystopian thrill-ride of epic proportion. Leaving Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds looking like a half-baked invasion by Alvin & The Chipmonks, ‘Shadow of a Wrecking Ball’ is at once mind-bendingly ludicrous, intelligently idiosyncratic and fearlessly bombastic. Muse, there is nowhere to hide…
Rippling with musical innovation and instrumental expertise, ‘Shadow of A Wrecking Ball’ sees Le Cygne Noir enlist a stellar who’s who of classic rock alumni of the highest order to help bring his madcap vision into its blazingly lucid focus. With appearances from Julianne Regan (founder and lead singer of All About Eve), Wayne Hussey (The Mission), Neil Taylor (Tears for Fears, Robbie Williams), Corey Webb, (son of iconic songwriter JIMMY WEBB), Mike Kelly (The Mission), Simon Hinkler (The Mission, Pulp), Additional contributions come from the amazing Jo Nye (vocals) top session players Beth Porter and Caroline Dale (cello), Mark Gunstone (The Blunders), esteemed saxophonist Ben Waghorn, and Cal Campbell (Beck) on drums, son of country legend GLEN CAMPBELL; the record shimmers with a quality that only such experienced players can bring to the table.
From its cosmic Floyd-y explorations (‘From The Grave’), expertly Rush-indebted excesses (‘Zombi Mantra’, ‘Walking In The Shadow of A Wrecking Ball’) and arpeggiated John Carpenter-infused electronics (‘After All Is Said’, ‘Don’t Look Now’), to its cigarette lighter-raising stadium-sized power ballads (‘Lungs’, ‘No Return’) and widescreen baroque flourishes (‘Paying The Price’); ‘Shadow Of A Wrecking Ball’ is an album behemothic in its scale, brain-melting of concept and bombastic of delivery that make for an experience that is nothing short of breathtaking.
Recorded at various locations across the globe, from the West Country of the UK (NAM Studios, Riverside Studios, The Chapel) to LA (Agoura Borealis Studios) to Cal Campbell’s studio in Nashville, ’Shadow Of A Wrecking Ball’ was mixed by Evansson (Siouxsie Sioux, Robert Plant) and Grammy nominated producer Tom Dalgety (Royal Blood, The Pixies, Ghost) and finally mastered by James Bacon at Piano Recordings (Sheffield). All songs were written by Le Cygne Noir except ‘After All is Said’ Written By Le Cygne Noir and Wayne Hussey. The album artwork was designed by Andy Luckhurst, with its featured portrait photo of Le Cygne Noir provided by none-other than celebrated portrait and fashion photographer Rankin.
Fittingly set for release on Friday the 13th of September, ‘Shadow of A Wrecking Ball’ will be released digitally by Cherry Red Records and physically (vinyl/CD) by Anger Management Records.
Speaking about the upcoming release, Le Cygne Noir says:
“Shadow of a Wrecking Ball is a concept album, based around the end of the world and a zombie take over. It’s not often I have time to make music these days, but due to the continued destruction of the planet, the time was right to release this.”
Offering further interpretation on the origins of Le Cygne Noir’s cataclysmic new record, you can read the reflections of his closest ally and brother, Richard, in an exclusive diary entry supplied below.
‘SHADOW OF A WRECKING BALL’ BY LE CYGNE NOIR
– OUT FRIDAY 13th SEPTEMBER, 2019
VIA CHERRY RED // ANGER MANAGEMENT RECORDS
LISTEN TO THE ALBUM SAMPLER HERE
Available for pre order from 15th July from all good retailers on Vinyl, CD download and Streaming.
Pre Order on the Official Store here and listen to the audio sampler now:
1. From the Grave
2. After All Is Said
3. Walking in the Shadow of a Wrecking Ball
4. Don’t Look Now
5. Zombi Mantra
6. No Return
7. Paying The Price
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Photo Credit: RANKIN
* * * * *
REFLECTIONS: THE ORIGINS OF LE CYGNE NOIR
I can’t remember which summer it was, but it was decades ago and I was lying by a swimming pool, leafing through my mother’s copy of the Daily Mail. I turned the inky pages and there it was: ‘Video Nasties: how sick video tapes are warping young minds’. It told of the phenomenon of unregulated films suddenly widely available in myriad video shops that sprung from nowhere, accompanied by lurid images from said movies: SS Experiment Camp, Nightmares in a Damaged Brain, Zombie Flesh-Eaters. These pictures seared into my imagination, and as the good people at the Mail had kindly provided a full ‘banned list’ of the DPP’s forbidden films, I knew exactly what to go after. I set about attempting to collect them all, bartering with shady dealers in seedy video shops, trading on the black market via ‘wants lists’ in video magazines. I got a part-time job in a rental outlet to feed my nefarious addiction, getting first dibs on whatever salacious cassettes had been removed from the shelves. Yet as my collection steadily grew, no film matched the maelstrom in my imagination sparked by those grainy black-and-white images in the Mail.
As my parents owned no video recorder, I spent months saving in order to rent one for a week at a time, delivered to the house by a certain Mr Allcock. As I had to conceal the contents of my obsession, I’d rise at 6.30 in the morning to watch The Evil Dead, sure of my thrills before anyone else awoke. Other times I’d cycle around the village calling on any friend with a video, a nasty in the rucksack on the back of my bike, hoping to find someone whose parents were out so the curtains could be drawn and the horror begin. Sometimes they’d come back unexpectedly and I’d have to make a quick getaway, the cassette still warm in my hands. Other times the coast would be clear for a few hours and we’d settle down to a marathon of depravity, feasting on Zombie Creeping Flesh, Tenebrae, Gestapo’s Last Orgy, The House by the Cemetery. Needless to say, none of our minds were corrupted, it was simply a few hours’ trip into a world less ordinary, made all the more alluring by the fact we were tasting forbidden fruit.
Oftentimes my sole viewing companion was my brother [Le Cygne Noir]. Always a fan of the zombie film, we’d settle down, perhaps after a round of Horror Top Trumps, to indulge in the likes of The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue. One of the main attractions of these type of movies is their often superlative scores, commonly composed by such Italian luminaries as Goblin, Riz Ortolani and Fabio Frizzi. Already a keen practitioner of the piano, these incredible soundtracks obviously seeped into his musical subconscious and years later have found new form in these incendiary recordings. But more than mere pastiche of past glories, he has injected his own particular dynamism and genius for arrangement into the mix to create something altogether more compelling, music that nods to the gems of the past while looking to the sounds of a whole new future. So enjoy these evocations of perhaps, paradoxically, more innocent times, and revel in the knowledge that young minds can indeed be warped so wondrously.
Richard, Brother of Le Cygne Noir, Summer 2019