CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG ANNOUNCES HER FIRST STUDIO ALBUM SINCE 2010 REST OUT NOVEMBER 17
Produced by Sebastian.
Featuring Collaborations with Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Paul McCartney, Owen Pallett, Connan Mockasin and Others
Music Video for title track Rest, first extract from a music video series, Directed by Charlotte Gainsbourg
Previewing Exclusively on Apple Music today: www.applemusic.com/CharlotteByCharlotte
Charlotte Gainsbourg announces the release of her fourth studio album, Rest, out November 17 on Because Music / Warner, with album pre-orders beginning today. All tracks on the album are produced by SebastiAn (Frank Ocean, Kavinsky), except Rest, composed and co-written by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, and Songbird In a Cage, composed and written by Paul McCartney. Rest also features collaborations with Owen Pallett, Connan Mockasin, and others.
SebastiAn’s background in electronic music accorded with Gainsbourg’s desire for a sound with a disquieting, mechanistic edge, inspired by Giorgio Moroder and, perhaps unsurprisingly for a revered, award-winning film actress, movie soundtracks—particularly Pino Donaggio’s score for Brian De Palma’s ’70s horror classic Carrie, Georges Delerue’s music for Jean-Luc Godard’s nouvelle vague masterpiece Le Mépris, as well as the unsettling ambience of films like Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and Hitchcock’s Rebecca.
The album’s first single is the title track, Rest, produced and co-written with Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, out today. Rest is a poignant, modern lullaby-like song, steering Gainsbourg toward a forensically focused approach to lyric writing. “Those were the firstwords that I actually sang on the album,” she explains. “I came in with all my bunches of lyrics… It was too much, really, and Guy-Man was saying, ‘you can’t say all that, you have to simplify it,’ and he reduced it to three words! It felt so innocent in a way, but it was exactly what I needed at that time.” It turns out there are actually a few more than three words present in the song, including an homage to Walking in the Air, from the 1982 animated special The Snowman (a Christmas childhood favourite of the artist’s). That said, nude simplicity of language on the track highlights the complexity of a single word: Rest, the first word inscribed on a headstone (Rest in Peace) and a word which, in French, means “stay,” used to plead with a lover not to leave, or with a memory not to fade.
She also directed the music video for Rest which is previewing today exclusively on Apple Music. “I needed a push. Lars (Von Trier) helped. At first I asked him if he would direct this video for me. He answered, “no… you should do it”. He then said, knowing very well what I needed, “I will tell you exactly what you must do…”. He dictated quite precisely, “the rules”. For me to follow. I was nodding through the telephone while writing down the master’s principles. And that was it. the 1st push I longed for. To go out, and carry a camera for myself. Up to me to deliver my personality in either the archive footage I was choosing or the new images I filmed. Trying to create a repetitive language through this musical loop. Thanks to this first step into directing, I was able to take possession of my own imagery. Ensuing different music videos for quite a few of my album’s songs.”
IRM, Gainsbourg’s Pitchfork “Best New Music”- designated 2010 album, which the BBC raved was “one of 2010’s first great examples of accomplished, adult pop,” saw Beck translating Gainsbourg’s ideas into song, and Gainsbourg interpreting them with the gossamer tenderness of her sung delivery and trademark whisper.
Rest is the first album by Gainsbourg whose lyrics she wrote, having previously felt daunted by the desire to poetize her ideas. Even more intimidating was the idea of putting her thoughts to verse in French. “In the shadow of my father [pioneering French musical superstar Serge Gainsbourg], writing in French was something I never dared to do,” she says. Grappling with the recent death of her sister, fashion photographer Kate Barry, however, created immediacy—and from within the “intense grief” it was “easier to express certain things” in French. On the album, Gainsbourg addresses personal topics ranging from familial loss, to the tensions between her shyness and her life as a performer and public figure, to charmingly illogical childhood fears—with lyrics pried from her own diaries, rendered here in French and English.
Despite her lyrical confrontations of grief, Gainsbourg has created an album that never becomes stuck in a given emotional state or set of musical references. While tracks like Ring A Ring O’ Roses evoke Charlotte Gainsbourg’s past work with Air (on her sophomore album, 5:55), Rest is also rife with funk flourishes, as on Sylvia Says, psychedelic vocal distortions, as on McCartney collaboration Songbird in a Cage, carnivalesque MIDI, as on I’m A Lie, and playful disco beats, as on the energized album closer Oxalis. This last, propulsive and even exuberant song also happens to be about death, displaying the dynamism with which Gainsbourg approaches the subject. Oxalis takes a self-reflexive approach, with the artist singing about finalizing her own portrait of grief. As Gainsbourg explains, “Through the toughness of the words chosen there lays—for me—an all-consuming love.”
Now, the upcoming Rest marks Gainsbourg’s achievement of the lyrical confidence to get unprecedentedly candid, and to trust her own words’ ability to communicate universal pains of loss through personal ones. Says Gainsbourg, “It’s the first time that I’ve surrendered myself, and the end result belongs to me.”
Charlotte Gainsbourg — Rest
- Ring-A-Ring O’ Roses
- Lying With You
- Deadly Valentine
- I’m A Lie
- Sylvia Says
- Songbird In A Cage
- Dans Vos Airs
- Les Crocodiles
- Les Oxalis