It has taken 20 years for Mick Harvey to resume his project of translating Serge Gainsbourg’s songs into English and following the release of Volume 3 - ‘Delirium Tremens’ in June, Mick Harvey has now announced the final in the series, Volume 4 - ‘Intoxicated Women’, out on 4 November 2016.
‘Intoxicated Women’ contains many duets and songs written by Gainsbourg, mostly during the 60s, in a period where he was focusing his songwriting on singers such as France Galle, Juliette Greco and most famously, Brigitte Bardot.
Here Harvey has enlisted the talents of guest singers Channthy Kak (Cambodian Space Project), Australian singers Xanthe Waite (Terry, Primo), Sophia Brous, Lyndelle-Jayne Spruyt and Jess Ribeiro and the German chanteuse Andrea Schroeder plus a special appearance by Harvey’s son, Solomon.
The album opens with a stunning version of ‘Je T’aime… (Moi non plus)’ – here titled ‘Ich Liebe Dich… (Ich Dich Auch Nicht)’ - rendered in the sexiest imaginable German by the divine Ms. Schroeder and culminates with ‘Cargo Cult’, the closing track from the classic ‘Melody Nelson’ album. In between we are treated to a smorgasbord of Gainsbourg gems in English (with a bit of Khmer thrown in).
“After the initial recordings for ‘Delirium Tremens’ JP Shilo and I continued investigating the duets and female songs, many of which were unknown to me. So it became a voyage of discovery into quite a lot of material I hadn’t heard before. There are even a couple of songs for which the only versions existing from the 60s are from TV performances Serge gave.” [‘The Drowned One’ (La Noyée) and ‘Wolfy Teeth’ (Dents de Lait, Dents de Loup)]
Work began on what would become Volumes 3 and 4 in late 2015. Recording in Melbourne with J.P. Shilo and the rest his Antipodean-based live band, 10 songs were tracked at Birdland Studios. The project then relocated to Berlin where a further 9 songs were recorded with Toby Dammit (The Stooges, Residents) and Bertrand Burgalat (of French label Tricatel) who was the string arranger on the first 2 volumes.
The resultant recordings served to whet Harvey’s appetite for more and almost immediately work continued back in Melbourne in order to have enough material to fill 2 new volumes. Along with principle musical collaborator, Shilo (with whom Harvey also worked on Rowland S. Howard’s ‘Pop Crimes’) and Melbourne based musicians Glenn Lewis and Hugo Cran, Harvey enlisted the aforementioned female singers to help complete this final volume in the series