Elvis Costello has released La Face de Pendule à Coucou, a six-track EP consisting of Francophone adaptations and re-mixes of songs from his 2020 album Hey Clockface.
Featuring contributions from Iggy Pop, Isabelle Adjani and Tshegue, the surprise collection is available from today digitally, and will be released on vinyl this summer by Concord Records.
The release includes a spoken-word rendition of ‘No Flag’ in which Iggy Pop’s famous baritone is heard in dialogue with Costello’s original vocal.
Isabelle Adjani and Steve Nieve contribute a new piano and voice rendition of ‘Revolution #49’ on which Adjani improvises in response to M. Nieve’s una corda piano motif, providing a delicate contrast to her compelling recitation over the instrumental performance from Hey Clockface.
The French lyrical adaptation for both versions was made by Muriel Teodori and completed in consultation with Isabelle Adjani at the time of recording.
Hetty O’Hara Confidential – another of the Helsinki Sound recordings from Hey Clockface – receives two very contrasting interpretations on La Face de Pendule à Coucou. The first is a radical re-working by Tshegue, the Paris-based combination of Franco-Cuban producer, Nicolas ‘Dakou’ Dacunha-Castelle and Kinshasa-born vocalist, Faty Sy Savanet.
The EP features remixes from Hey Clockface with contributions from Iggy Pop, Isabelle Adjani and Tshegue…
Costello said: “When I heard Tshegue’s single, Muanapoto, it provided such a great jolt of energy that I thought they might have fun dismantling and re-assembling this rag doll of a song”.
‘Hetty O’Hara Confidentiel’ also receives an entirely Francophone lyrical adaptation courtesy of Muriel Teodori and AJUQ. This rendition is led by the enigmatic presence of Etta Somatis, who shares the verses with AJUQ with brief interjections in the original language.
A new edition talking picture for ‘Hetty O’Hara Confidentiel’ by Eamon Singer and Arlo McFurlow, featuring the voices of Etta Somatis, AJUQ et Elvis Costello, has also been released, joining the previously released illustrated clips for ‘No Flag’ – in both English and French – and another for the Isabelle Adjani’s rendition of ‘Revolution #49’.
Of working with Adjani, Costello said: “When Steve Nieve’s partner, Muriel Teodori told me that she thought Isabelle Adjani might consider reading the French adaptation that Muriel had made of my original text, I assumed that I must be dreaming.”
Listen to La Face de Pendule à Coucou here.