Daphne Guinness – ‘Revelations’ reviewed

❉ Diva and muse Daphne Guinness reunites with the legendary Tony Visconti for her third album.

I first became aware of Daphne in the early 1980s. Despite being the same age as me,  she seemed incredibly glamorous and impossibly cool for her teenage years. She was close friends with David Bowie who encouraged her to venture into the music industry and when she eventually did, she was produced by Tony Visconti. Nothing has changed in the intervening decades and her latest album, Revelations is testament to this. Daphne is described by the media as a socialite, multi-millionairess and model and whilst all of this is true (she’s a direct descendant of Arthur Guinness, founder of the famous liquid black stuff and lives in London and New York for crying out loud! Hashtag ubercool…) Revelations truly lives up to its name, and I was very pleasantly surprised on first listening. Think Siouxsie Sioux lyrically, meets Kylie Minogue in a disco diva tempo, with a touch of Marc Almond/Nick Cave/Pet Shop Boys sensibilities thrown in and you’re 90% there. What’s not to love, quite frankly?

The single and first track on the album Deviant Disco opens with the spoken word, intriguing yet slightly sinister in its tone, but deliciously enticing nonetheless. The song featured in a new art film project that was nominated for Best Concept Video Awards at The Berlin Music Video Awards 2020, in May and was created with Daphne’s long term collaborator David LaChapelle. The videos shorts in a series of 3 parts, can be found online.

During the lockdown Daphne was still working making a video for Looking Glass (track 2 on the album) with art director and photographer Etienne Gilfillan and collaborator David LaChapelle, producing a rich, edgy video to accompany the song.

Moving on all too quickly is Permission to Dance which is a fun and upbeat track, harking back to the decadence of the Studio 54 era, instructing us that despite the sorry state of the current world affairs, to “dance, dance, dance to the new agenda“.

The title track of the album Revelations cuts back on the general upbeat nature of the album to a serene introspective track with thought-provoking lyrics. I’d love to hear a duet of this song with Daphne and Marc Almond, it would completely fit both artists musical styles.

Refugee d’Esprit is a jaunty pop song with quite depressing lyrics if you listen closely to them, however its wrapped up in an upbeat melody with a ribbon on top. It tackles the subject of the desperation which many refugees find themselves in whilst trying to find a better life. Continuing with the controversial themes, Blow Up lyrically sings about the concept of freedom and “they’re not scared of you, they’re scared of what you represent…. Freedom’. A couple of fun tracks with a serious undertone.

Heaven could be taken straight from a 1970s film scene with an ethereal feel a la Jane Birkin, delivered with breathy urgency and backed by strings, whilst Other People’s Problems is a cleverly written song with a strong melody. You can positively hear Visconti’s production here, which is polished to a sparkly diamond shine!

Bright White Stranger is an enigmatic track, again with those fab lyrics and encircled in brilliant melodies and top class production. The slow pace is continued with Tune into Neptune which is reminiscent of If it Doesn’t Kill You by Siouxsie from her Mantaray album. The enticing edgy vibe is very similar and gives me the same feeling; this is a most certainly good thing!

The album ends all too soon with the funky Miss Me which is a revenge song wrapped up in a glam rock-esque sensibility, with a ‘FU’ edge. There is truly not a bad track on this album, which is the true revelation! I can’t recommend it enough. Listen/Buy it now and thank me later!

❉ Daphne Guinness – ‘Revelations’ was released 14 August 2020 via Agent Anonyme/Absolute and is available to stream across all platforms here. Follow Daphne Guinness online on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and her official website.

 Ange Chan is a freelance writer, having produced two novels and six volumes of poetry.  She was also prolific contributor in the anthology collection Me and the Starman (now available by Cult Ink on Amazon) and is a lifelong lover of music, having first been published in the 1980s music press. As well as being a frequent contributor to the pop culture website We Are Cult, she is working on her long-standing third novel Champagne Flutes and Pixie Boots.

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