Piers Faccini: "Between Dogs and Wolves" Streets Sept. 10
British-born singer-songwriter Piers Faccini's fifth solo studio album, Between Dogs and Wolves, will be released in North America by Six Degrees Records on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 and on his newly launched Beating Drum label in Europe. An intimate suite of songs on the themes of love and desire, Between Dogs and Wolves depicts the unknowable and indefinable spaces between these themes, spirit and animal, between the wild and the tamed.
"In France, where I live," says Faccini, "there is an expression to describe twilight. It is called entre chien et loup, between dog and wolf. I wanted to use this metaphor for the album title, to transcribe the moment between day and night to the personal landscape of relationships, and to the stories we live, falling in and out of love.
With several albums already behind him, Faccini felt a strong calling to take his music to new places as yet unexplored. His previous album, 2011's My Wilderness -- like the self-portrait that he made for the album of cut-up maps of the world -- was, he says, about roaming in a kind of imaginary desert, a place where nothing is marked or signposted and where nothing is permanent. For Between Dogs and Wolves, Faccini chose to explore a different kind of geography, one that resides within each of us. "I tried to work with several different aspects of the immense subject of love," he explains. "Some songs deal with the search for love or the quest for unity that we play out seeking a lover, other songs concern nostalgia and memory in the context of desire. I wanted to create a large, existential tableau around the subject of love, relationships, sexuality and desire."
The journey is a reflective one, a collection of soulful meditations. Faccini's low-key vocal performances -- described as "a whisper of grand mysteries" by The New York Times -- are front and center in the mix, accompanied variously by double bass, guitar, cello, harmonium, dulcimer, kora and echoes of analog electronica -- all acoustic. Faccini played and recorded all of the instruments himself, except the bass, which was played by longtime collaborator Jules Bikoko, and the cello, contributed by Dom la Nena (Faccini co-produced la Nena's latest album Ela, now out on Six Degrees Records). Both musicians also supply harmony vocals.
In addition to spearheading the musical direction on the album, Faccini also created the Between Dogs and Wolves album art, as he did for My Wilderness. A skilled painter (see samples at www.piersfaccini.com/art), Faccini's singular collection of artwork leaves a substantive lasting impression and seamlessly complements his music; Faccini's gift is his ability to bring the listener into his world. There's at once an inherent familiarity with Between Dogs and Wolves and an eclectic, lived-in vibe.
For Piers Faccini, the journey that would take him to Between Dogs and Wolves began in London where he was born and raised, although his family also lived for short periods in France and Italy when he was a child. He first made his mark musically in the late '90s in London with the group Charley Marlowe, but the desire for a greater level of personal expression led him to leave the band, and he released his debut solo album, Leave No Trace, in 2004. Faccini's following grew rapidly through touring with artists such as Ben Harper, Amadou & Mariam, Ballake Sissoko, and his subsequent solo albums --Tearing Sky (2006), Two Grains of Sand (2009, voted "Album of the Year" by French radio France Inter) and My Wilderness (2011) -- each widened his fan base. Faccini has also released a DVD, A New Morning, filmed in the Cevennes in southern France, where he lives with his family.
At the moment though, it's the new album that best reflects his present artistic state of mind. "Between Dogs and Wolves weaves a story of a journey of emancipation from the first song to the last," Faccini says.
New York's WNYC radio praised Faccini's "solid songwriting, understated guitar work, and smoky drawl," and All About Jazz has proclaimed, "Piers Faccini exudes confidence and charisma in both his singing and playing...His music is fresh and enjoyable, and is overdue for wider discovery by audiences in the United States." Between Dogs and Wolves marks a quantum leap in the artistry of Piers Faccini -- along with it, the time for that wider discovery has surely arrived.
Piers Faccini Tour Dates:
Sept. 12, 2013 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Café*
Sept. 13, 2013 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theater*
Sept. 14, 2013 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue*
Sept. 15, 2013 - Chicago, IL - Park West*
Sept. 17, 2013 - Cincinnati, OH - 20th Century Theater*
Sept. 18, 2013 - Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theater*
*Supporting the Wood Brothers