Almost exactly five years ago to this day, Dita Von Teese and British electronic duo Monarchy debuted the delicious Pleasantville-meets-“Justify My Love” visual for their thumping dark-electro collaboration, “Disintegration.”
Given the (drop dead) beautiful burlesque dancing bombshell that Dita is, I’d always hoped that one day she would supply us with a collection of her own. Not so much Top 40-style Max Martin-produced bangers. Just something fierce, sort of like how Carmen Electra has a whole Prince album.
That time is now.
Dita has Von Teesed (eh heh) that she’ll be releasing a self-titled French pop-inspired debut record in February, which is being described as “spanning sparkling electronica to lightly psychedelic pop” that evokes “a modern day Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg allure.” Parfait. (Also: the enduring impact of Emma Bunton‘s Free Me and Life In Mono!)
The 10-track record was co-crafted alongside Sébastien Tellier, as well as the Mind Gamers, a duo made up of programmer and keyboard player John Kirby (Blood Orange, Solange) and Midnight Juggernauts drummer Daniel Stricker.
“I’m not a professional singer, in fact, I’m quite uneasy about recording my voice. But I do enjoy the thrill of doing things that are outside of my comfort zone, so in the past, I’ve collaborated with artists I admire that have invited me, such as Monarchy and Die Antwoord,” Dita says of the upcoming album.
“But nothing compares to this project with Sébastien Tellier. Having been a fan of his music for a long time, I would go to see him play live in California and, when I performed for the first time at the Crazy Horse in Paris, I invited him because I was such a fan, not daring to imagine that someday he would compose an entire album for me. When we began recording, he offered to let me to write some lyrics, but I preferred the feeling of letting go, of making a Sébastien Tellier record. I had a fantasy about having a modern Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg moment. To describe the album is difficult; perhaps it’s me with less make-up. At times, there’s a certain vulnerability which stands in contrast to my stage image of a confident and glamorous woman. I would never dare say such things in real life, and if I ever really felt like making such declarations of love, I would likely restrain myself right away.”
To kick off the campaign, Dita first dropped a tropical track called “Rendez-vous” at the end of November, which is also the first song Dita worked on together with Sébastien.
Actually, the song was penned by his wife, Dean de La Richardière, who says the song is “about a woman taking control of her freedom, and of her hunger for pleasure.” Pleasure, you say? (Cue the “Erotica” record player static.)
The summery tune glides across steel drum synths as Dita sensually purrs her way across the funky waves. “Erotic rendezvous, she says / She’s hungry everyday.” It’s the bead of sweat running down your back while sunbathing poolside on a horny holiday, basically.
As of this week, we’ve now got a second offering: “Bird of Prey,” an electronic slow-burner that recalls Goldfrapp and Charlotte Gainsbourg – a direct descendant of the album’s main influence! – and her brilliant recent output, Rest. (Sadly, no, this is not a cover of Christina Aguilera‘s Bionic track – but undoubtedly, she too was inspired by Legend X’s ahead-of-its-time opus.)
“‘Bird of Prey’ evokes Dita flying above the world, hunting the tiny men on its surface with her eagle eye,” Sébastien explains of the song. Oh, and it was also recorded in a house stable next to a river just outside of Sydney while it raining, according to the Mind Gamers. So go ahead, close your eyes and feel that fantasy.
Two songs into the campaign thus far, and the album’s already shaping up to be exactly as sensual, stylish and hypnotic as hoped. J’adore.
Dita Von Teese will be released on February 16. (iTunes)
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Photo by Camille Vivier.