New Music: Intoxicated Women by Mick Harvey

So today is yet another belatedly post about yet another new album I’ve been really digging, Intoxicated Women. It’s pretty great album title for a Friday post too, who wanna get drunk tonight? Here’s something to listen while doing so, the former Bad Seeds sequel to his Intoxicated Man album for the mid-90’s. It’s the fourth volume/album of his Serge Gainsbourg covers in English and as above in the video clip now in German too.

In between working now with PJ Harvey in studio and her live band, they’re not related at all by the way. Mick a couple of years ago after remastering/reissuing The Bad Seeds back catalog he did his first and second Gainsbourg albums for reissue too, Intoxicated Man and Pink Elephants. Then early last year came part three and a few weeks ago this one arrived. It was announced for last year release then was pushed back to early this year. I don’t mind really, my pre-order came signed by Harvey himself too which I remember Mute records didn’t say anything about at the time but was a nice surprise. It does seem to happen a lot when pre-ordering from the artist or label.

Anyway on with the music, this time around Mick is focusing on Serge’s duets and or songs he wrote for female vocalists. So with 15 tracks we have some sung with Mick but mostly it’s the cream of the crop of Melbourne singers. Recorded in mainly in Melbourne but the first and last tracks done in Berlin, the German version of most likely Gainsbourg most famous and well-known song Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus translates to Ich Liebe Dich…Ich Dich Auch Nicht and features the vocals German singer Andrea Schroeder. This is not the first version of Je T’Aime on all these volumes, in 1998’s Pink Elephants album featured the ex-bf and gf couple of Nick Cave and Anita Lane. The then just friends sung the English I Love You…Nor Do I which I’ve got to say was OK but I think I really do like this new German version with Mick and Andrea even if I’m a really big Cave fan, I’m going to have another listen again to those old albums but we are talking about this new one.

I totally love French 60’s pop and I would go as far as saying I enjoy much more than English 60’s pop or any sung in English. So do know these tracks, well but I don’t know what you would make of it all if you didn’t know them? Then again when Mick’s first one came out in 1995 I didn’t know it all and that got me into it, did go a bit overboard because friends would have to tell me in rises voices something like “No more fucking french music Bill, turn this shit off now!” Which I found funny so I would say “what about this one?” “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” would come the answer or something like that so I can understand it’s not for everyone or well, my friends in the mid-90’s.

Melbourne guitar player J.P. Shilo seems to be Mick’s own main man. Mick playing a lot of the rest of the instrumentals but Toby Dammit/Larry Mullins play drums on that first and last song and ex-Sonic Youth Steve Shelley make cameos on the opening two songs. The rhythm of bass and drums is mainly played by Glenn Lewis and Hugo Cren from the amazing band called The Cambodian Space Project. Off course horns and strings are everywhere here on the record, how could you not have them? The main big different on this record than the previous three is all the great guest vocals, now some of the artists I do dig and some are I’ve been wanting to check out for awhile so now thanks to Mick you’ll been intro to them too. Well, that’s if you’re already into them? I might just have to blog about them all more in the the coming weeks/months because it’s just such great list.

Channthy Kak from The Cambodian Space Project sung Contact, the original got to be one of my fave Brigitte Bardot tracks ever so it’s just got to be one of my faves. Then solo artist Jess Ribeiro on the Pervert’s Song, Jess is back on the second last song The Drowned One too. Jazz artist Sophia Brous sings The Eyes To Cry and While Rereading Your Letter which both are beautiful listening, could be my fave more mellow tracks. Mick’s own son Solomon Harvey sings on Baby Teeth, Wolfy Teeth which released last year and I blog about it at the time, here’s the link. Xanthe Waite from wicked cool Aussie band called Terry do Puppet Of Wax Puppet Of Song and The Homely Ones, I do wonder how Mick picked who to sing what? Now someone who’s named Lyndelle-Jayne Spruyt sung Sensuelle Et Sans Suite but she seems more of a photographer than singer because other than last year’s volume three Delirium Tremens album she hasn’t recorded anything else. Andrea Schroeder is back on two more tracks Striptease and God Smokes Havana’s, yet again both great too. Julitha Ryan plays Melody Nelson in Cargo Cult with Xanthe Waite again on bv.

Mick has been quoted saying this is the last volume in the set of four but I wouldn’t mind if he didn’t keep his word. This is the best one, well I think it is. Saving the best for the last maybe? Or is it just the selection of songs he’s done this time around and I know these now even better than in the 90’s? I guess it could be that but I’ve not listened to Serge and any French pop for a while now so maybe it’s time to re-visited again now?


So this post makes it three posts of cover songs in a row after Jack Ladder’s two yesterday and Oh Mercy’s Ed Kuepper’s one the day before. So for this coming weekend and maybe next week too I shouldn’t do any posts with covers, hey? Or should the month of March be all covers? So got to ask who else loves covers too? I do hope anyone, everyone out there digs this new album Intoxicated Women as much as me?


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