Celebrated vocalist and performer Marc Almond announces the release of a new studio album The Velvet Trail for 9th 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 March 9th 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
The Velvet Trail Tour Dates are as follows:
Thu 16th NEW BRIGHTON New Brighton Floral Pavilion Theatre
(The Wirral, Merseyside)
Fri 17th BIRMINGHAM Town Hall
Sat 18th IPSWICH Regent
Mon 20th CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange
Tue 21st BRIGHTON Dome
Thu 23rd BRISTOL Colston Hall
Fri 24th LEEDS Town Hall
Sat 25th MANCHESTER Bridgewater Hall
Mon 27th EDINBURGH Queens Hall
Tue 28th GATESHEAD Sage
Thu 30th BASINGSTOKE Anvil
Fri 01st LONDON O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Tickets are onsale now from Gigsandtours.com, ticketmaster.co.uk plus venue box offices, or by phone from 0844 811 0051 or 0844 826 2826.
Ticket prices from £19.50 regionally / £29.50 London (plus booking fees).