Elvis Costello Releases ‘Hey Clockface/How Can You Face Me?’

Today sees the release of ‘Hey Clockface/How Can You Face Me?’, the fourth advance track from Elvis Costello’s upcoming album, ‘Hey Clockface’. The LP, which is Costello’s 32nd studio album since his 1977 debut with ‘My Aim Is True’, will be released by Concord Records on October 30. ‘Hey Clockface/How Can You Face Me?’ is available to stream and download here.

‘Hey Clockface’ is the first drop from the new album to have been recorded in Paris – the previous 3 were recorded over 2 days in Helsinki, in those heady days of unhindered travel back in February this year. ‘Hey Clockface’ comes from sessions recorded in Paris the weekend following the Finland set.

‘Hey Clockface’ features an ensemble of musicians, who were subsequently dubbed, “Le Quintette Saint Germain”, and led by Steve Nieve at the piano with Mickaël Gasche on trumpet, Renaud-Gabriel Pion on clarinet and contrabass clarinet, Pierre-François “Titi” Diufour on cello and AJUQ on drums.

The upbeat rhythms of the song, with a decidedly madcap feel, were captured in an animated music video produced by Eamon Singer and Arlo McFurlow.

Costello says,

“This is a song about picking an argument with time, the very clock face, either running too fast or too slow, depending on the company you keep”.

The record opens with a trumpet and vocal duet, quoting the theme of the Fats Waller/Andy Razaf song, “How You Face Me? which dates back to the mid-1930s.

Costello again commented,

“None of our arrangements for this session were written down in advance. I sang the theme of “How Can You Face?” to Mickaël and we kicked off this take right away, quoting a few lines of the song in the tag.”

Over a two day period in Paris, Costello and his team recorded nine songs, all of which will appear on ‘Hey Clockface’. It’s testament to the talent and skill of Costello and his team that they managed to put down so many in such a short time:

“I sang live on the studio floor with the ensemble playing everything I wanted to hear and nothing that I didn’t”, said Costello.

The Paris component provides an exuberant contrast to the starkly dark tones of those “Helsinki Sound” releases, but in true Costello fashion we are warned to expect more surprises, as he enigmatically adds, “Watch this space…”

You can pre-order ‘Hey Clockface’ here.

Watch the video for ‘Hey Clockface’ below:

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com

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