It was only meant to take a few days.
Entering the studio record her second EP as The Anchoress, Catherine Anne Davies wanted to breeze through, to keep the session as relaxed as possible.
That is, until she injured her hand. Forced to wear a cast for six months, the material then shifted and evolved as she attempted to complete her work.
The results are, if we're honest, fascinating. 'One For Sorrow' is out now, a four track selection which fuses some deft, engrossing lyrical work with some beautifully dark arrangements.
Constructed with the aid of Paul Draper, it's an enthralling return. Available through Hiraeth / PIAS, Clash is able to bring you the full stream of 'One For Sorrow'.
Alongside this, Catherine Anne Davies has agreed to pen a track by track guide. Check it out below, the soak up the EP after the jump. Alongside those initial studio recordings you'll find a Philip Reach remix - the the first time this enchanting remix has been heard anywhere online.
1. One For Sorrow
The song is half proverb, half feminist manifesto. In part it's about getting tired of people asking you when you're going to "settle down" and have kids, as if this might be the only fulfilling destiny for a woman... I'm also quite superstitious about magpies. It was the very last song recorded for the album. It started out life as a piano Motownesque track when I was obsessing over Carly Simon's 'Why' (if you haven't seen the video, watch it as there are no words to describe its brilliance. '1 4 Sorrow', as it was formerly known, is also the album's most obvious reference to my continuing obsession with Prince...
2. Once Upon a Lie
A play on words of the fairytale happy never after. I wrote this on my stage piano in a friend's empty studio flat in Maida Vale. It was recorded in two marathon sessions at the Strongrooms in London with Duncan Mills where I raided his amazing collection of vintage synths and gadgets: on this track I played the gorgeous baby grand that they have in Studio One, my Peerless Tonemaster jazz guitar, Duncan's philicorda organ and omnichord (which I subsequently ended up buying), solina strings and some 2am floor tom. Duncan tried to get us all to join the cult of his singing bowl and played the drums. My dear friend Mat Percival kindly agreed to add some stereo electric guitar magic and bass, also doing a four handed duet on the omnichord with me (this is not a euphemism...)
3. Long Year
The song is comprised of just three chords on a loop. At the time I was reading a lot of Southern Gothic literature such as Zora Neale Hurston and wanted to create something hypnotic. It's a redemption song of sorts but also about being in the middle of a maelstrom of bad news and enduring a terrible year. It was written a long long time ago, far far away but this version is mixed by the incredible Gareth Jones (Interpol/Liars) to whom I gave the single instruction: MAKE IT MORE EVIL. It's undergone several re-incarnations, including a version with a string quartet and piano that's been around in the live set for a while. In this recording Paul Draper edited out the section where I growled like The Grudge as apparently it was just "too weird"...
4. One For Sorrow (Philip Reach Requiem Mix)
This version of 'One For Sorrow' was reworked by the very talented Phil Joannides (aka Philip Reach) and features prominent use of producer Paul Draper's glorious falsetto backing vocals. Phil's also worked on alternate versions of a few other tracks on the album and we now have an electronica project on the side which mostly involves eating lots of gluten free snacks (we are both coeliac).
Listen to it now.