Friday, March 23, 2012

New from Paloma Faith: Picking Up The Pieces

It's funny. I wasn't sitting around waiting for a new Paloma Faith record but, now that she's back, I'm quite excited.

I actually bumped into (was asked to interview) Paloma at the Brit Awards last month. She'd just arrived from the recording studio, where she was putting the finishing touches to her second album, Fall To Grace. Here's what she said at the time.

"It's nearly finished. I've got two weeks left. That's when I put all the icing and cherries on top."

I'm really proud of it so far. I wasn't as proud of what I did last time because I was learning as I went along. But I can honestly say that I stand wholeheartedly, 100 per cent behind the new record."

The album's been recorded with Nellee Hooper, of making-very-good-records-with-Bjork fame. I've heard a couple of tracks so far and they've all got that heightened, cinematic sweep that made New York such a stand-out three years ago.

In fact, Nellee Hooper says that was always the intention, describing his first meeting with Paloma like this: "She sat and talked in such detail, as if every song was a short film, referencing everything from Chinese romantic cinema to Hip Hop. When I played the CD she gave me the songs flew out of my speakers! We got together and decided right away to embark on this journey."

My personal favourite of the new songs is a stripped-back love song called Just Be. It starts off with a little piano figure that echoes Bonnie Raitt's I Can't Make You Love Me. Amazingly, what comes next manages not to suffer in comparison, as Paloma whispers, "Don't say nothing. Shhhh, just be" to her paramour.

The first single is Picking Up The Pieces, and it received its first radio play on Radio 2 this morning. More uptempo than Just Be, it's a familiar tale of complicated boy-girl stuff. "It deals with the issues of being in a relationship with someone who is still recovering from a previous relationship," says Paloma. "It is a song about self doubt and insecurity." It is also very good. Take a listen.

Paloma Faith - Picking Up The Pieces

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