Former front man of Denver based The Czars, John Grant will be releasing his sophomore full-length album Pale Green Ghosts on Nevado Records (Library Voices, Emilie Mover, Yukon Blonde) in Canada. The album is scheduled for release on May 14, 2013 and is the follow-up to Grant’s critically acclaimed 2010 solo debut Queen of Denmark. To check out the title track off the new album visit: http://bit.ly/Wig15A
John Grant has also just shared a remix of his single “Black Belt” done by Baltimore duo Dungeonesse (Jon Ehrens of The Art Department and Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak). To listen to the remix click here.
Recorded in Iceland with Birgir Þórarinsson a.k.a Biggi Viera of electronic experimentalists GusGus and featuring Sinead O’Connor on back-up vocals, Pale Green Ghosts adds sublime notes of dark, gleaming electronica to Grant’s anticipated velveteen ballads, calling on all of the songwriter’s influences and tastes.
If Queen Of Denmark is Grant’s ‘70s album, then Pale Green Ghosts is his ‘80s album. The title track is a panoramic, brooding classic, while “Sensitive New Age Guy” and “Black Belt” are the tracks that you might dance to in new wave clubs. The song “You Don’t Have To” is a classic example of Grant’s eclectic influences blending together and also features the distinct spacey Moog sounds that are familiar to lovers of Queen Of Denmark.
Pale Green Ghosts, which takes its name from a song inspired by the Colorado drives Grant would take to new wave clubs, is an album of typically caustic revelations and scabrous humour. It explores sex, sexuality and the pitfalls of growing up in a particularly religious environment and in an era that ostracised gay men. The track “Ernest Borgnine” combines all these strands with the admission that Grant is HIV positive.
Grant’s bracing honesty has led him to being arguably the first person to announce that he is HIV positive in front of a live audience, as he did when appearing with Hercules & Love Affair at London’s Meltdown festival in June 2012. “It’s what I wrote the song about, so I thought I should talk about it there and then,” Grant explains in his public declaration. “I thought I shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it, as there are lots of people in my situation, who feel like outcasts in society, people who had addiction problems, who feel ashamed and unlovable because of it. I want these people to know they have someone on a stage who is dealing with this too.”
Grant has also never shied away from discussing depression, and Pale Green Ghosts is a testament to his strength and survival, of moving on with life, “Moving to Reykjavik, at the age of 43, was incredibly risky and scary,” says Grant. “I didn’t know anyone here, but I’ve built up a life here, and recorded an album I’m really proud of, that distils what I’m about down to its most essential components, better than ever before. And this was during the middle of health issues. It means I’m trying to take the bull by the horns, and to live.”
It’s been an extraordinary journey for John Grant, from a point where he thought he would never make music again or escape a life of substance abuse, to winning awards and accolades, collaborating with Sinead O’Connor (along with performing back-up vocals on the new album, she covered Grant’s song “Queen of Denmark” in her 2012 album “How about I be me [And You Be You]?), Rumer and Hercules & Love Affair and having his music featured in the award-winning film Weekend.
Pale Green Ghosts Track listing:
01. Pale Green Ghosts
02. Black Belt
05. It Doesn’t Matter To Him
06. Why Don’t You Love Me Anymore
07. You Don’t Have To
08. Sensitive New Age Guy
09. Ernest Borgnine
10. I Hate This Town
DUNGEONESSE’S REMIX OF ALBUM TRACK “BLACK BELT” VIA NOISEY
03/13 – London, UK – Heaven
04/05 – Rotterdam, The Netherlands – Rotterdamse Schouwburg – Motel Mozaique Festival
04/07 – Cologne, Germany – Bergerhaus Stollewerk
04/08 – Hamburg, Germany – Mojo Club
04/09 – Berlin, Germany – Babylon
04/11 – Vienna, Austria – Porgy & Bess
04/12 – Milan, Italy – Milano Magazzini Generali
04/13 – Rome, Italy – Parco della Musica
04/14 – Bologna, Italy – Teatro Antoniano
04/17 – Paris, France – Divan Du Monde
04/18 – Brussels, Belgium – Botanique – Orangerie
04/19 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Paradiso
04/25 – New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge
05/02 – Belfast, Northern Ireland – Marquee – Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival
05/03 – Dublin, Ireland – Vicar St.
05/04 – Cork, Ireland – Cyprus Avenue
05/05 – Kilkenny, Ireland – Watergate Theatre – Kilkenny Roots Festival
05/07 – Bath, UK – Komedia
05/08 – Oxford, UK – Academy 2
05/09 – Birmingham, UK – Institute – The Library
05/11 – Leeds, UK – Metropolitan University
05/12 – Edinburgh, UK – Queens Hall
05/14 – Manchester, UK – Ritz
05/15 – London, UK – Shepherds Bush Empire
05/16 – Brighton, UK – St. Georges
05/18 – Cambridge, UK – Junction
05/19 – Norwich, UK – Open Up – Norfolk & Norwich Festival