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Brett Anderson and Nadine Shah Team With Paraorchestra for a Cover of Mercury Rev's 'Holes'

The song appears on 'Death Songbook,' to be released April 19, featuring covers of songs by Black, Depeche Mode, Echo and the Bunnymen and more.

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Source: Kirsten McTernan

Brett Anderson in the midst of belting out a tune with the Paraorchestra.

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After teasing their upcoming album-length collaboration at the tail end of last month with the release of their cover of Echo and the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon,” Brett Anderson and Charles Hazlewood of Paraorchestra are back with a new sonic nugget from their forthcoming Death Songbook LP: a version of Mercury Rev’s “Holes.”

This time, the twosome are joined by Nadine Shah, the British singer-songwriter who recently released her fifth studio album, Filthy Underneath, through EMI.

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wills q template
Source: Kirsten McTernan

Brett Anderson and Nadine Shah team up for a cover of Mercury Rev's "Holes" with Paraorchestra

For those unfamiliar with “Holes,” the song was included on Deserter’s Songs, Mercury Rev’s fourth studio album, released in September 1998. The LP was named Album of the Year by New Musical Express, and the song was included at No. 60 on PopMatters’ list of the 100 greatest alternative singles of the 1990s, where it was described as “a swirling melancholy dream, a Grimm’s fairy tale with pain and darkness coursing just under the surface of an elegant and ornate reverie of beauty and wonder.”

“There's this sense of regret about it that resonated with me,” said of the song in the press release announcing its release. ”That line about ‘holes, dug by little moles’, there's something so sad and childlike about that.”

“I hope people get as much out of ‘Holes’ as I have singing it,” Shah said in the same release. “I’ve worked with Paraorchestra on a few occasions now, one on the hottest day imaginable at Glastonbury. Their talent is insurmountable and I love to sing with them. I’m a great admirer of both Brett Anderson and Charles Hazlewood so an opportunity to do this all again on Death Songbook was one I would be sure not to pass up. A moment of melancholic magic with a bunch of fellow goths.”

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Death Songbook was conceived during the pandemic, when Hazlewood approached Anderson with the idea for making an album of “very delicate re-imaginings” of some of the most morbidly beautiful and poignantly somber songs ever written.

“So much of the greatest art, certainly from my point of view, is intrinsically melancholic,” Hazlewood explained in the initial statement about the album. “Music which is about death, or the death of love, about loss, about anxiety, there's a transcendence in that music. My go to, whether I’m feeling happy or sad or somewhere in between, will be melancholy music because that's where the catharsis is, that’s where art is most resonant.”

Here's the full track listing for Death Songbook, which is scheduled for release on April 19:

1. The Killing Moon (Composers: Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Will Sergeant and Pete de Freitas)

2. Unsung (Composers: Brett Anderson, Leo Abrahams, Leopold Ross, Seb Rochford)

3. Holes (feat. Nadine Shah) (Composers: David Fridmann, Adam Synder, Jonathan Donahue, Grasshopper)

4. Nightporter (Composer: David Sylvian)

5. She Still Leads Me On - LIVE (Composers: Brett Anderson and Richard Oakes)

6. Wonderful Life (Composer: Colin Vearncombe)

7. The Next Life (Composers: Bernard Butler, Brett Anderson)

8. He’s Dead (Composers: Bernard Butler, Brett Anderson)

9. Enjoy The Silence (feat. Gwenno) - LIVE (Composer: Martin L Gore)

10. The End Of The World (feat. Nadine Shah) (Composer: Sylvia Dee and Arthur Kent)

11. My Death - LIVE (Composer: Jacques Brel)

12. Brutal Lover - LIVE (Composers: Brett Anderson & Charles Hazlewood)

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