Jack Savoretti releases “Singing To Strangers”.
Jack Savoretti is thankful. “This is the first time I’ve made an album with a clear understanding of what I want it to sound like. Previously I’ve thrown it to the wind: show up in the studio with a song and let’s see what happens… This time there was a real discipline to the whole process. We stayed true to it”.
You’d expect a guy whose rich new album “Singing To Strangers” features co-writes with both Bob Dylan and Kylie Minogue to be grateful, but more interestingly, the English-Italian singer-songwriter gives thanks to his heritage. Savoretti began digging in les crates for the French, Spanish and Italian music from the Fifties and Sixties – and with which, on tour, he regularly entertains his band. “Back then there was proper European music, and that has always inspired me. You’d have a crooner backed by incredible orchestras, but also with these incredible rock’n’roll-era drummers and bass players. And that gives you Serge Gainsbourg doing Melody Nelson, and Patty Bravo and Ennio Morricone in Italy”.
So, to Rome – where else? – and to the studio of Sr. Morricone himself. The producer: Cam Blackwood (George Ezra). The band: Pedro Vito (guitar); Sam Lewis (guitar); Sam Davies (bass); Jesper Lind (drums); Nikolai Torp (keys, piano). The mood: romantic. The dress code: stylish. When in Rome, too, don’t go thinking you’re in a studio in New York or London. The city of love has its own schedules, routines, ways. “If it rains for ten minutes, it’s guaranteed you’ll get a power cut – even though it’s the capital of the fourth largest economy in Europe, that will happen! And so don’t try and fight it. Just roll with it. “And it changed us. Every evening, being able to go out for a Negroni and see the sunset outside your studio in downtown Rome and discuss what we did that day… Everybody grew up and got into the world I wanted us to be in”.
It was August 2018, it was inspiring, and it was diabolically hot. “Luckily, Morricone’s studio is the basement of this huge church, so it was cooler. And the atmosphere down there was essential, and that was captured in Candlelight, which became the calling card of the album”. “Candlelight” – co-written with Joel Potts (Athlete, Ezra) and which opens “Singing To Strangers” – is an intoxicating, swooning rhapsody of strings, choral harmonies, sinuous bass and guitar, and Savoretti’s woody, heartfelt rasp. It’s followed by the elegant sashay of “Love Is On The Line”, Savoretti skewing his writing round string parts scored by Davide Rossi (Coldplay, Goldfrapp).
From the sublime to the more sublime. “Music’s Too Sad Without You“, which appears on the Deluxe Edition, is the song Savoretti co-wrote and sang with Kylie Minogue for her recent “Golden” album. “She sing-whispers the song and I fell in love with that side of Kylie on her duet with Nick Cave on “Where The Wild Roses Grow”. The latter is Cave’s deathless murder ballad, a form Savoretti also embraces on “Dying For Your Love”, a song ripped from the unmade soundtrack of an imaginary David Lynch movie.
There’s more movie lore, and movie love, in “Youth And Love”, a glorious throwback disco homage to the Oscar-winning “Call Me By Your Name”. “One of the most romantic stories I’ve seen in a long time”, sighs Savoretti, “and a film that reminded me how wonderful romance is. This director, Luca Guadagnino, has brought back what Roberto Benigni did with Life Is Beautiful. Romance is not just depressing; it’s happy, it’s good. It’s not just a broken rose and blood. But also: that film’s setting was the Italy I grew up in, having holidays there every year in the Eighties. And to be honest, concludes Savoretti with a grin as expansive as the glorious mood music of “Singing To Strangers”, “this entire album became an old collage of looking back at all the things that influenced me”.
You can read the full transcript of this interview by clicking here
You can order “Singing To Strangers” by clicking here from Jack’s website.
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