I had a really fun and lengthy chat yesterday with Siobhan Donaghy to talk about her upcoming new album "Ghosts" that will be out in he U.K. on June 27. It is a sublime pop
record that pushes Siobhan's artistic boundaries in a completely new direction. Donaghy demonstrates that there is plenty of life after leaving the Sugababes.
Talking to her, I was really impressed by her determination to make music that will surprise people. She doesn't walk the path of least resistance by serving up music that follows a predictable pop formula. Siobhan likes her sound sweet and crunchy. And I couldn't agree more. Because pop is no fun if you can't chew on it for a little while. (Download a guilt-free MP3 of her new track "Sometimes" HERE.)
A few highlights from my interview:
Siobhan recorded "Ghosts" in an old mansion in France's countryside together with producer James Sanger who was a raging heroin addict at the time. It made recording often difficult, which explains some of the angst and sense of frustration on the album. He went to rehab twice during the recording sessions. She noted that he is currently clean from drugs and doing very well.
The singer traveled extensively after her solo debut "Revolution In Me" failed to break out. She spent time on a beach in Thailand which triggered a spiritual journey that led to many of the lyrics on "Ghosts." She specifically mentioned the track "Goldfish" as a pivotal song that encapsulates the theme of the album.
Siobhan is hoping for a U.S. release of her record after she's done releasing and promoting the album in the U.K., Europe's mainland and Asia (in that order of priority).
She admits that there are a few songs on the album that will take some time for people to get used to because they are "so different" and somewhat abrasive at first.
"Ghosts" is a very spiritual album asking questions about the why, what and how in life. We talked about this at length.
She totally believes that you can be left-field and still be commercial. She points to the global success of Amy Winehouse as an example of that.
She credits much of her success to her loyal gay fans who have supported her since her time with the Sugababes. She still often deejays at famed gay joint Trannyshack in London's Soho.
Don't expect a reunion of the original Sugababes sistas any time soon. Siobhan is only good friends with Mutya who she wishes well with her solo career.
The incredible photography for "Ghosts" was shot by Floria Sigismondi in Los Angeles. The photographer has a long list of rock 'n roll clients, including Marilyn Manson. Sigismondi could provide the visual edge Donaghy was looking for and the singer kept calling her until she made time for her.
Much more from my interview with Siobhan soon.