Mick Harvey – Delirium Tremens

A flirtation with the songbook of Serge Gainsbourg...

‘Delirium Tremens’ is the third instalment in Australian producer and multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey’s flirtation with the songbook of Serge Gainsbourg. Twenty years on from his last foray into translating and reinterpreting the French legend’s songs, Harvey has proven again that there’s plenty more mileage in this on-off interest.

Typically for Gainsbourg, there's a real mix of things going on here, from relaxed fun laced with irony through to quirky takes on love songs full of the louche suggestiveness befitting of the most ardent romantic. There’s also deceptively serious stuff here, including the sinewy ‘Convict Song’, which sounds like a frantic acid trip through a penal colony, alongside wistful and serious missives – ‘The Decadence’, a duet with Katy Beale, is simply heartbreaking, while ‘A Day Like Any Other’ with Xanthe Waite is like a sweet Michelin Star dessert for the senses.


Words: Mat Smith

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