Two legends have teamed up for an intriguing new project: Marianne Faithfull and Warren Ellis will be putting out She Walks In Beauty on April 30. It’s a record that features Faithfull reading the poetry of Lord Byron, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and many more over glacial soundscapes from the Bad Seed.
The partnership have shared the title track, “She Walks in Beauty”, which is a Byron poem that he wrote in 1814, after attending a party at Lady Sarah Caroline Sitwell’s and becoming captivated by the beautiful Mrs Anne Beatrix Wilmot. Faithfull says about it:
“It’s very romantic, not like you imagine Byron to be. It’s so beautiful, and that’s why I like it. I love the other side of Byron too, but this is really amazing, sublime. And I was very drawn to the ability to do really beautiful rhymes. I think that’s from being a songwriter. It’s incredibly nice. Not what I connect with Lord Byron at all.”
In Faithfull’s voice and aided by the expansively glistening soundbed, the song transcends pure admiration for female beauty, but could apply to almost anything breathtaking in nature. At a mere two and a half minutes, it’s a tantalising introduction to the project, but it is so blissful and precise in its wording that repeat listens are practically a must.
You can hear “She Walks in Beauty” on streaming platforms, but watch the lyric video below to appreciate each and every word.
Marianne Faithfull and Warren Ellis’ She Walks in Beauty comes out on April 30 via BMG, and will also feature appearances from Nick Cave, Brian Eno and Vincent Ségal (pre-order).