It’s the Brill Building at night, illuminated only by the streetlights. The avant-garde with heart and soul. It’s the revolutionary band, The United States of America, filtered through the soundtracks of beautiful, baffling movies you have only seen in your mind. It’s when the gum-snapping, back-combing, smart-talking girl group member feels the blast of the world, its cruelties, and becomes, simultaneously, a different, darker, singer.
Unloved’s latest release, THE PINK ALBUM, is dawn and dusk, the epic and the intimate. This 22-track double album, its title inspired by the artwork of Julian House, features collaborations with Jarvis Cocker, Étienne Daho, Raven Violet and Jon Spencer. Pink has it modulations: shocking at times but signifying also tenderness, intimacy, the carnal. THE PINK ALBUM knows the shades of love, its nuances, and how it can be delicious – and frightening. Marvellous – and aching. Rather than be the silver lining to the cloud, THE PINK ALBUM mines deeper, to a precious ore, dark and glittering.
Unloved. Jade Vincent. Keefus Ciancia. David Holmes. The machinations of a benevolent fate brought them together. A glorious serendipity. In Los Angeles, Ciancia – producer, keyboardist, creator of soundtracks, True Detective among them – met David Holmes, the innovative, inquisitive and ingenious Belfast DJ who recast himself as master of song and image for film and television. Ciancia invited Holmes to the Rotary Room in Los Feliz, where the extraordinary Jade Vincent was singing.
Tuesday nights in the Rotary Room in Los Feliz: a place of thrilling sonic alchemy, where musicians could experiment and collaborate at Ciancia and Vincent’s long-running salon. Holmes was asked to DJ and then to curate another night – and then another.
Nights bled into later nights. Conversation spun into collaboration. These three artists, kindred spirits, sonic familiars, spoke the same language, one whose lexicon included Jack Nitzsche, Morricone, Nino Rota, the electronic sounds of Raymond Scott, the vocabulary of vocal instrumentalists and fearless raconteurs, Edda Dell’Orso, Ruth White, Françoise Hardy, Connie Francis, Brigitte Fontaine, Jacques Brel, Elvis and Lee Hazlewood. Finding sound and programmed beats, Keefus and David excavated and innovated, experimented and re-interpreted, creating a landscape for Jade’s melodies and lyrics, for sublime songs of lament and confession. The legendary Hollywood Vox Studios was where the Unloved trio formally came together as a band, in a studio almost original to its 1936 incarnation.