4AD announces “Plague Songs”
10 songs – 10 plagues - 10 artists - release date - November 7th, 2006 – 4AD
"Featuring contributions from Scott Walker, Rufus Wainwright, Brian Eno, Robert Wyatt, Stephin Merritt, Laurie Anderson, Imogen Heap and more."
"This fascinating, unsettling and unique project comes down to one simple idea: a collection of songs based on the ten Biblical plagues that take place in the book of Exodus.
A simple idea, but a complicated story - these songs were originally commissioned by a British arts organization called Artangel to form part of a large-scale public art event. Titled “The Margate Exodus” (http://www.margateexodus.org.uk/) the event took place in September 2006; it transformed a dilapidated seaside town on the North Kent Coast of England into the setting for a vibrant modern recreation of the Israelites' flight from Egypt. During the event, the 10 "Plague Songs" were performed by local singers and musicians; together, the festivities formed part of a feature film which is to be broadcast and screened in 2007.
The 4AD release gathers together the 10 original recordings, presented in Biblical plague order. It moves from the scattershot, street-level drama of Klashnekoff's "Blood" through to the tender lament for a real-life "Death Of The Firstborn" written by Rufus Wainwright. On the way, there's the sublime hover of Brian Eno & Robert Wyatt's "Flies", the cracked, surreal sparseness of The Tiger Lillies "Hailstones", and Laurie Anderson's grave, shadowy meditation on the Death Of Livestock. Imogen Heap's "Glittering Clouds" is a soaring pop song driven along by locust samples, while Scott Walker's "Darkness" (what else?) is simply astonishing - a driven and almost completely a capella call-and-response which will raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
All ten tracks are exclusive to this release; and despite their various soundworlds and approaches they form a surprisingly coherent and convincing whole. Plague Songs will be out in the US via 4AD on November 7th, 2006."
1. "Blood" Klashnekoff (The Plague Of Blood)
2. "Relate the Tale" King Creosote (The Plague Of Frogs)
3. "The Meaning of Lice" Stephin Merritt (The Plague Of Lice)
4. "Flies" Brian Eno & Robert Wyatt (The Plague Of Flies)
5. "The Fifth Plague" Laurie Anderson (The Death Of Livestock)
6. "Boils" Cody ChesnuTT (The Plague Of Boils)
7. "Hailstones" The Tiger Lillies (The Plague Of Hail)
8. "Glittering Cloud" Imogen Heap (The Plague Of Locusts)
9. "Darkness" Scott Walker (The Plague Of Darkness)
10. "Katonah" Rufus Wainwright (The Death Of The Firstborn)