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Perry Blake - Death of a Society Girl (Moochin' About Records)

20 June 2024

It is perhaps with a touch of poignancy and sadness that we come to this new album by Perry Blake, given his close association and frequent collaboration with the so recently departed Françoise Hardy. But, of course, she was just one of many illustrious creatives he has worked with, and with 26 years of making some of the most original and perhaps criminally overlooked music, that is just one chapter of the story.

And if his 1998 self-titled debut is still regarded as the perfect opening musical gambit for an emerging artist, then Death of a Society Girl is undoubtedly a return to such epic and emotive benchmarks – not that the work between these two points has been anything other than stunning.

Here, things are equally unique, an album full of strange, melancholic hybrids of 60s chamber pop and 90s trip-hop grooves, ambient, heart-tugging soundscapes and poetic lyricism, shimmering, cinematic majesty, and an understanding of understatement.

“Let’s Fall in Love” seems to echo with the spirit of Bowie’s Blackstar, all grace and otherness, “Concertina” builds a bridge between Breton harpist, Alan Stivell and the trippy, downbeat grooves of Portishead and the title track featuring the spoken word talents of none other than actor Paul McGann, is a beguiling and brilliant piece.

At this point, I would usually comment about the post-genre world, that the modern age allows artists to be free to pick and choose the sounds and style, the genres and influences that they build their defining sounds from. But Perry Blake has been doing that for the last quarter of a century, though perhaps never better than the way he has done it on Death of a Society Girl.

Death of a Society Girl album order
Let’s Fall In Love
The Sky From Here live performance
Apple Music