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Listen to Mark Lanegan’s New Creepy Song ‘Nocturne’


Mark Lanegan at the Teragram Ballroom in December


When I saw Mark Lanegan mid December during this amazing benefit show for Afghan Whigs’ guitarist Dave Rosser, he was singing as one half of the Gutter Twins (the other half was Greg Dulli), and I was once again stunned by his deep raucous voice. His vocals are also what strike you first when you listen to his new song for the first time. ‘Nocturne’ is the first track he is sharing off ‘Gargoyle’, his upcoming album which will be released on April 28th on Heavenly Recordings. it’s not too surprising that ‘Gargoyle’ will feature some of these same people who were playing at the benefit show, like The Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli, and frequent studio partner Queens of the Stone Age’s Joshua Homme, among others.

Gargoyle? Nocturne? You wanted music for our dark times? Well, you have it! A very anxious and tenebrous ambiance runs through the song like a sharp edge of a sword and Lanegan’s dark and gritty baritone sounds like the missing link between Leonard Cohen and Greg Dulli. The bass line and terrifying drums which start the song should terrify the hell out of you before more drama rises up and brings the song to something as atmospheric as a Nick Cave song… and wait for the rocking part… ‘Do you miss me, miss me, darling?/Do you know I’m missing you/Can’t you see the world is ending/That’s what this damage took me to’ sings Lanegan with a dramatic tone announcing the end of times.

The rest of the album was co-written with English artist Rob Marshall, and Lanegan’s longtime musical amanuensis Alain Johannes. The whole thing was recorded and finished very fast, within a month. ‘I definitely feel like I’m a better songwriting than I was 15 years ago,’ declares Lanegan on his website. ‘I don’t know if I’m just kidding myself or what, but it’s definitely easier now to make something that is satisfying to me. Maybe I’m just easier on myself these days, but it’s definitely not as painful a process, and therefore I feel I’m better at it now. But part of the way that I stay interested in making music is by collaborating with other people. When I see things through somebody else’s perspective it’s more exciting than if I’m left to my own devices.’

And in case you were wondering, the album title comes from a lyric in ‘Blue Blue Sea’, the third song of the album – ‘Gargoyle perched on gothic spire’: ‘I’m most proud of the songs that are atypical to stuff that I’ve done in the past,’ says Mark. ‘So I really like Old Swan, because it’s an expression of positivity, which is completely anti-anything I’ve done before!’ He laughs. ‘Y’know, I haven’t played this record for too many people yet. I played it for Greg Dulli, who played on some of it, and he was like, ‘Wow, I had to listen to it twice – it sounds like he’s having a good time…’

Let ‘Nocturne’ creep you out before the whole thing drops next April.

‘Gargoyle’ tracklisting:
Deaths Head Tattoo
Blue Blue Sea
Goodbye To Beauty
Drunk On Destruction
First Day Of Winter
Old Swan

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