Like his old pals (okay, ex-pals) in The Heads, David Byrne is making his new
album a collaborative effort. And also like the Heads (who had guest turns from
non-mainstream peers like Richard Hell, Maria McKee and Gavin Friday on their
1996 album), Byrne has chosen an eclectic list of left-of-the-dial folks for
The nervous-mannered singer, whose last solo album was 1994's
self-titled affair, will release Feelings in early June. The CD features
a collaboration with members of Devo on the song "Wicked Little Doll" and a
duet with Paula Cole on "Miss America," which also features vocals from Betty
("Clean-Up Woman") Wright, co-produced by Miami producer Joe Galdo (Angelique
Kidjo). Like many of the partnerships, the Galdo track was recorded on
location, at the producer's Miami home, in keeping with a mood Byrne was trying
"I realized two things after having written and made demos of a
number of songs," says Byrne in some notes from the sessions. "That home studio
recordings now sound as good as big-name studio records, and often the vibe
there is more conducive to creativity. Secondly, the songs appear to be in a
wide variety of styles that might best be interpreted by different groups of
To that end, Byrne also traveled to Morcheeba's Clapham,
England home studios last year to work on a group of nine songs, which the
group's guitarist, Paul Godfrey told ATN included "Daddy Go Down," with younger
brother Ross Godfrey on sitar, along with a Cajun fiddler, turntable scratching
and hip-hop beats. Some of the other tracks, "Fuzzy Freaky," "Amnesia" and
"Dance on Vaseline," incorporate such disparate elements as swing, reggae, funk
and acoustic country folk.
Morcheeba played on and co-produced the tracks
with Byrne, as well as co-producing a handful of other tracks on the album.
Godfrey said the sessions came about when Byrne heard an advance tape of the
band's debut trip-hop inflected Who Can You Trust? and phoned them up.
"We were thrilled, to say the least, we grew up listening to the Talking Heads
and we're really big fans of his," said Godfrey. "We always thought he was a
mad kind of guy who'd be really interesting to work with, but he's actually
sort of more balanced and stable than most people you'd ever meet in your
Byrne also trekked to Seattle to work with that city's Black Cat
Orchestra to record the last track "They Are In Love" and to New York to record
with musician Hahn Rowe and C'n'A (Andreas and Camus), who he had worked with
previously on a Red, Hot & Rio track (a cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim's
"Aguas Du Marco").
The full track listing for Feelings is: "Fuzzy
Freaky," "Miss America," "A Soft Seduction," "Dance on Vaseline," "The Gates of
Paradise," "Amnesia," "You Don't Know Me," "Daddy Go Down," "Finite=Alright,"
"Wicked Little Doll," "Burnt By The Sun," "The Civil Wars," "Untitled" and
"They Are In Love."