It should come as no surprise that after only a handful of listens, I am officially obsessed with Paloma Faith's new single, "Picking Up The Pieces" (out May 20th). Serving as lead single from her sophomore album, Fall To Grace (out May 28th), "Picking Up The Pieces" was co-penned by Paloma, Wayne Hector (James Morrison, Westlife, Cheryl Cole), Tim Powell (Sugababes, Gabriella Cilmi, Pet Shop Boys), produced by Nellee Hooper (Björk, Madonna, Garbage) with Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran, Wiley) serving as co-producer on the project.
At just over 4 minutes, "Picking Up The Pieces" is the perfect vessel for Faith, who's voice soars to new heights in this emotionally-saturated ballad about lost love. While Faith has no problem dominating those big notes seamlessly, it's the quiet, subtle moments in the song where her immense talent shines through the most. Faith strikes the perfect balance, exercising equal parts strength and restraint, easily bringing a listener to tears.
According to Faith, "The new album has taken on a very cinematic mood. 'Picking Up The Pieces' is no exception. It deals with the issues of being in a relationship with someone who is still recovering from a previous relationship with another person. It is a song about self-doubt and insecurity." Faith's apparent flare for drama transfers into the album's stunning artwork, particularly in the single artwork (ABOVE) which features a vulnerable-looking Faith elegantly dressed in a beautiful gown and clutching a fur. More notably, this photo is completely UN-retouched and stripped of all makeup. Seeing the heartbreak written across her flawless face, one can't help but wonder exactly what Paloma was thinking about during this shoot.
During a recent #askpaloma
, I asked
Paloma if it was her idea having her appear natural on the cover, and Ms. Faith was kind enough to answer
, telling me "Yes. I wanted the world to see me for who I am, in my most vulnerable state. That's what the album is about.
" Glamour Magazine
and Digital Spy
both unveiled Paloma's fantastic album artwork for Fall To Grace
on April 11th
, exemplifying a completely different definition of the word "drama." The album sleeve features a beautiful Faith (with makeup) enveloped in a billowing red satin gown, and surrounded by Blue-and-Yellow-Macaws
. While the artwork for Faith's single is certainly dramatic
, it's drama is more emotional. The drama seen on Faith's album cover is over-the-top theatricality and I mean that in the best possible way. Side note, I wonder what Faith's thing is with birds. If I recall correctly, her first album's sleeve
featured two white Doves, no? I'm sure this can't be a coincidence...
In some recent interviews
, Faith has expressed disappointment regarding her debut, citing an overall lack of cohesion and a missing sense of who 'Paloma Faith
' really is, thanks largely to there being 'too many cooks in the kitchen
,' too many third party ideas and perspectives. Case in point, take that unnecessary re-release of her hit single, "New York
" with American rapper Ghostface Killah
. Faith admits that she had nothing to do with it, telling Digital Spy
"That thing with Ghostface Killah was really weird because I didn't approve it. I didn't particularly think it was necessary to have a rapper featuring on anything and I've also never met him.I don't think he knew what that song was about. From what he said on it you can tell he didn't really listen to what I was trying to say!"
While Faith did have to deal with the emotional departure of two of her Epic Records allies (Nick Raphael & Jo Charrington), this change has been more positive than it has been negative. Now releasing music through RCA Records, and with a new team behind her Faith has become more assertive over her career, a privilege that most artists only dream of. With experience comes knowledge, and as we know, knowledge is power and now that Faith has been through it all once before, she knows what she wants this time and isn't afraid to ask, even demand it. Add to that, the label seems to value her, which, I'd imagine, makes getting what you want as an artist considerably less painful.
While Faith's primary goal with this album is buying a home, she's also expressed an interest in promoting her music abroad, specifically America (YAY!). In her interview with Music Week
, Faith says:
"I'd like to make a few waves in America and internationally. The last record did really well in the UK and I'm so grateful for everything that happened here. But considering I speak three languages, I'd like to use my ability to fit into lots of different cultures."
Faith's obvious devotion to her international fans couldn't be more evident than it is on Twitter
. When the video were released onto her official VEVO
page last week, Faith assured fans that the video would be available worldwide ASAP. During her Twitter Q&A
, Faith no doubt received a barrage of questions regarding her international touring plans, to which she responded
, "I really would love to come to the USA and tour and promote YES! I am trying my absolute hardest! Cannot wait!
" When questioned about the ready availability of her material online outside of the UK, Faith clarified that this was beyond her control, stating
; "[the] reason why its hard to hear the new material in the US right now: cause I haven't sorted the deal yet! WE ARE WAITING FOR THE SUITS.
Ever since the release of her debut, Do You Want The Truth or Something Beautiful
, I've been clamoring for Paloma Faith
's follow up and now it's almost here. If we are to believe that old adage, "all good things come to those who wait
," Faith's new album must be good...right? All signs point to YES
. Check out the EPIC
video for "Picking Up The Pieces
, directed exquisitely by Emil Nava
, Tinchy Stryder
, Gabriella Cilmi
) and featuring an utterly heart wrenching performance by Faith, who's never looked more beautiful.
Just as we've seen with all of Faith's previous releases, we expect remixes for "Picking Up The Pieces
" as well. The first remix released is a stunner of a reworking by London-based producer Rack N Ruin
, which was premiered on Nylon Magazine
's website earlier this month. Nylon praises the remix for it's "twitchy intro, warped fluttery beats, and spacey-sounding percussion.
" Check it out HERE
Faith's single "Picking Up The Pieces" will be released May 20th, followed by the release of her album, Fall To Grace on May 28th.
Check out Paloma Faith on the web: