Brett Anderson, Charles Hazlewood, and Paraorchestra featuring Nadine Shah and Gwenno in an exquisite anthology of music by icons such as Echo and the Bunnymen, Skeeter Davis, Japan, David Bowie & Jacques Brel, Depeche Mode, and Suede.

This rich set – amplified by the diversity and virtuosity of Paraorchestra musicians in new arrangements by composer Charlotte Harding – features delicate new versions of songs about death, the death of love, of loss, and ultimately of transcendence. It reminds us that music is our greatest friend in bleak times; inviting us to crouch around a candle and meet our sorrow head-on, comforting, nourishing, and uplifting.

On April 19 2024 Death Songbook was released on 2LP, CD and Digital via BMG’s World Circuit label.

Click here to listen to the album.

A stage with images projected behind. A white male wearing a long dark coat sings into a microphone. An organ, piano and percussion in the background.
A stage. A white male left in jeans and a shirt sings into a microphone. A white female, left, in a black dress a visible pregnancy stand in front of another. Their images are projected on a screemn behind with a vintage telephone dial. Percussion, guitar and string players also on stage.
On stage. Taken from behind a woman plays cello, another on violin, another on percussion. Abstract patterns projected onto the wall
A young white male plays bass clarinet on stage.
On stage. A black man plays flute. Microphones and music stands in the foreground.
A young white female plays violin. Stage lighting hues of blue.
A white male in his 50s dressed in black plays electric guitar
Harriet Riley, a white woman with short blonde hair, smiles and holds a pair of percussion mallets above her head as if applauding
A young white male plays double bass. Stage speakers in the foreground
A music stand with a set list. Blurred microphone in the foreground in hues of purple and blue.
Brett Anderson, a light-skinned man,, sings emphatically, mouth open wide, into a microphone. In the foreground a white male, blurred, plays a red piano.
A white female in a black dress visibly pregnant sings into a microphone. Stage lighting in hues of blue. In the foreground a white male, out of focus also sings.
A white male in his 50s with an impressive moustache plays an organ on stage. He wears a navy jacket and a bright shirt. Microphones, music stands and lights are nearby.
On stage. men and women play cello, double bass, violin and percussion. A white male sings into a microphone.
Brett Anderson, a white man in his fifties wearing a black shirt closes his eyes as he sings into a microphone. A music stand in the foreground.

Death Songbook was broadcast online by BBC Cymru Wales across the weekend of 6th – 7th March 2021 as part of GŴYL 2021 When Brett Anderson, Charles Hazlewood, and Paraorchestra were joined by guest vocalist Nadine Shah plus Adrian Utley (Portishead) & Seb Rochford (Pulled By Magnets, Acoustic Ladyland, Sons Of Kemet)

It received its television premiere on Sky Arts on Friday 26 November 2021.

Watch the trailer for the 2021 broadcast, which also featured Nadine Shah:

(Image Gallery: Death Songbook at Llais, Wales Millennium Centre, 2022. Photography credit Kirsten McTernan)