Following last month’s announcement of her new album Album No. 8, acclaimed Georgian-British singer-songwriter Katie Melua has released a second track from that stunning new LP.
“I think we’ve given love too much airtime,” Melua sings on ‘Airtime’, a song in which she gently repudiates existing preconceptions about what happens when people fall out of love – “in particular,” she explains, “the pressure to believe that the love of your life is out there somewhere.”
Co-composed with her long-time collaborators, bassist Tim Harries and guitarist Luke Potashnick, ‘Airtime’ is arranged and produced by Leo Abrahams (whose roll call of production and writing credits features albums by Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins and David Holmes) and features the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra.
‘Airtime’ is the second video in a series of visuals Melua has collaborated on with the award-winning director Charlie Lightening and featuring actor Billy Howle (Star Wars, Dunkirk, Outlaw King). The shoot took place over two days in Herne Bay on the England’s South Coast following APA lockdown guidelines. Melua and Howle isolated before and after the shoot to enable the scenes to be possible as well as being tested for COVID19.
Says Melua of the video, “I loved working with Charlie Lightening, we had lots of talks about how to make it a meaningful work and deal with the new limits on filming. We went with just me and Billy Howle on screen, we tried to show with subtle gestures and nuances the truth of love in its early stages.”
Katie Melua is one of Britain’s most successful musical artists, with a catalogue that has been certified 56 times platinum around the globe.
Originally from Tbilisi, in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Melua moved to the UK at the age of eight. Something of a prodigious musical talent she released her debut album Call Off The Search when she was just 19 years old. Since then, Melua has released seven UK Top 10 studio albums: Call Off The Search, Piece By Piece, Pictures, The House, Secret Symphony, Ketevan and, most recently, 2016’s self-produced, critically acclaimed In Winter, which she recorded with the Gori Women’s Choir in her native Georgia.
She and Kate Bush are the only two British female artists in UK chart history to reach the Top Ten with seven consecutive albums.
‘Airtime’ follows last month’s release of album opener ‘A Love Like That’. Described by The Sunday Times as “sinuous, sepulchral pop-noir at its most enveloping”, the song was accompanied by a sumptuous video also directed by Charlie Lightening.
Album No. 8, set for release on 16th October 2020, represents the culmination of a prolonged period of musical rediscovery for the musician. The deeply personal lyrics written by Melua see her attempting to reconcile the knotty complexities of real-life love to its fairytale counterpart.
She draws from the vernacular of folk songs to evoke a sense of magic-hour wonder mirrored by string arrangements whose depth and movement evoke Charles Stepney’s work with Rotary Connection and Ramsey Lewis. What results is her most cohesive and assured album to date.