WL//WH Single Premiere: TADZIO “Death And The Lady”

Premiere  Tadzio

Tadzio is an avant-death-pop ensemble of Philadelphia/D.C. based musicians who share an interest in creating evocative sonic landscapes that blend warm acoustic tones (harp, piano, flute, percussion) with electronic instrumentation. The project, in its current manifestation, is spearheaded by Ross Lipton (pianist) and  Shaina Kapeluck (vocalist) with an ever-changing cast of closely linked musicians (Including members of Hallowed Bells, Br’er & Luna Honey).

The group’s new single “Death and the Lady”, WL//WH is very pleased to premiere, is a harrowing yet cathartic interpretation on the traditional British ballad collected in 1946 by Francis M. Collison from Mr Baker of Maidstone, Kent, which becomes a classic of the English Folk Revival of the 1960s and 1970s, sung by the legendary Shirley Collins in 1970, as title track of her and her sister Dolly‘s albumLove, Death & the Lady”, and by The John Renbourn Group in 1977 on their Transatlantic Records album A Maid in Bedlam”, through to the present day by Norma Waterson & Martin Carthy in 2002, with somewhat different verses, on their fourth album A Dark Light” and re-interpreted by Shirley Collins on her 2016 sublime album “Lodestar”.

The dark, somber ballad, deftly coalescing warm neo-classical swells with whirring analogue electronic tones, amplifies the already pervasive uncanny qualities of the original, entails on the mysterious and persistent coexistence of life and death, amidst in an array of slightly dissonant, ominous, and penetrating sounds that wax and wane, with relentless hypnotic and droning intensity, echoing a clear, haunting voice that glides throughout with understated  passion and pain, simultaneously poignant and heartfelt and truly mesmerising in its agonizing tragic intensity and aching beauty.

As a ballad singer I have always loved the “oh, shit” moment in a song -the tragic crux from which the protagonist knows there’s no turning back. This song is full of them. Talk with Death and you’ll hear little else. This song is old and there are many versions of it that I’ve recombined.“The young girl cut down in her prime” was about syphilis, as are“the streets of Laredo” and “St. James Infirmary Blues,” but the mother of all Western pleas with death finds its roots in the plague, which must have come as an especially awful shock coming as it did on the heels of the crusades.According to singer Shaina Kapeluck:
The Coven Tree/Tadzio Split will be available digitally and on limited edition cassette on Aug 23rd. via D.C.‘s independent label BLIGHT. Records. Preorder the album on Bandcamp.

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