‘HARDLY THE SAME SNAKE’ LP
ACROSS THE UK THIS OCTOBER
+ TEAMS UP WITH BETH ORTON FOR COVER OF LEONARD COHEN’S:
Skinny Pelembe and Beth Orton have collaborated for a mesmeric reworking of Leonard Cohen’s 1974 track, “Who By Fire”.
Doya explains: “I’ve covered a tune by one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Leonard Cohen. Sung it with Beth Orton, who has one of the best voices of all time! One of the best drummers of all time, Malcolm Catto, is keeping the time! And I sound fucking fantastic at this point in time!”
The pair met by chance at Glastonbury earlier this Summer, when Beth introduced herself to Doya (aka Skinny Pelembe) following his West Holts Stage performance, and ahead of her own set on the same stage afterwards. Both artists are signed to Partisan Records.
Doya continues: “When I signed to Partisan, I remember having a conversation with Tim who founded the label as to whether Partisan was named after the Leonard Cohen song, The Partisan. He told me it was. I’d just recently been in the studio with The Heliocentrics’ Malcolm Catto, and had a few great breaks left over from the album that I’d not used. So I had Leonard on the mind and Malcolm’s beat swimming round my subconscious.
“It all came together this summer when I asked Beth if she’d be up for singing on it too. She sent me a tonne of amazing vocal takes, all of them brilliant, so I kept them all. She’s got such a distinctive, raw, timeless voice. It’s almost weirdly medieval, I love it.”
Beth Orton on the track and collaboration: “I have always felt connected to the work of Leonard Cohen. I toured “I’m Your Man” with an amazing cast of people, and every night I was intrigued by the mystery of “Who By Fire”. I was never totally satisfied I understood the song. When Doya sent me his version I was immediately taken by the Serge Gainsbourg quality of the drums and the overall feel, and I loved the cheek and punk-like spirit of this version, and seeing as I was in a studio in Paris, I didn’t give a second thought to throwing myself into Doya’s re-interpretation.
“Climbing inside the words this way brought the meaning of the song into new focus, the passion and heart-breaking inevitability of human nature that Leonard Cohen writes of like no other came alive to me finally.”
Earlier this year, Skinny Pelembe released his acclaimed new album, ‘Hardly The Same Snake’. He tours the record for the first time across the UK in October. Dates are listed below, and all remaining tickets are available here.
In 2022, Beth Orton — one of Britain’s most distinguished and cherished artists — returned with her peerless eighth album ‘Weather Alive’, and a triumphant run of UK festival performances across the Summer.