“I guess the idea first emerged the night that Bowie died. It was 4am in LA and I played his music in bed until the morning. Now when I look back I realise Black Star had a huge impact on me. It was suddenly clear that we are perishable beings, so I made a silent promise to myself”
In accessing the darkest, most uncomfortable parts of herself, Jehnny Beth has created something stunningly cathartic and rich for discourse. “I like the concept of music as a palimpseste, consisting of a succession of veils, that you can lift one by one” she says. “I think the music that lasts for me are those that throw our complexities into our faces, reflecting our fundamental multiplicity, with its lots of contradictions and ambiguities. Because inside each of us is a galaxy of diverse identities, which needs to be recognised”.
From subverting power balances, to highlighting the delicate depths of sexuality, to marrying dense textures with stark instrumentation, To Love Is To Live sees Jehnny Beth giving her intense vulnerability a glorious voice.
Recorded between Los Angeles, London, and Paris, To Love Is To Live is an album built on freedom as its foundation, inviting in old friends from the jazz community to contribute improvisational elements. There was no line uncrossed, no sound left unexplored, no theme too existential, revealing an album as eclectic and complicated as its creator with her utterly unique perspective on the world.
The album is a tumble through life’s loftiest questions, an album forged from the ambition and courage of an artist putting everything they've got right there into the music. “From the beginning I wanted to make a record that would give a sense of a journey. I wrote this album as if it was the last one I was ever going to write.”
Let’s hope it’s not.
Release: June 12, 2020, Caroline Australia
Words: Brain Drain PR