February 26, 2015 in Uncategorized
In anticipation of releasing their new single, ‘When Did Your Last Rose Die?’, Hartheim have delivered a sombre portrayal of Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’.
The poem was originally written as a protest song by Abel Meeropol in 1937, derived from the macabre period in which the everyday lynching of African Americans was a familiar sight. Premiered last night on Mary Anne Hobb’s BBC 6Music show, Hartheim’s ‘Strange Fruit’ is a genuine homage to the original.
Front man Mike Emerson summed up the reasoning behind such a sensitive cover; “It’s the most important song ever written in my eyes. The startlingly depressing thing is that now, almost 80 years after it was first published, the message remains just as poignant. With everything that happened in Ferguson last year, and no doubt is happening all over the world every day, it felt like the only thing to do… and there’s no better way to express it than what’s already there in the lyrics. It’s brutal, and unsettling, and most heartbreakingly – still completely relevant.”
Continuing the muted atmosphere of the instrumentation, a no-frills video was created alongside 200-year inhabitants of the functioning crypt below St.Philips Church in Salford. Introduced by prose from Roy Fischer prize winning poet Lauren Bolger, there were few locations that could better induce the frame of mind needed to connect to such melancholy.
The band release their new single, ‘When Did Your Last Rose Die?’ on JackToPhono Records on 9th March.
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