Foo Fighters Drop Surprise Free EP ‘Saint Cecilia’

23 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Foo FightersImmediately following the Paris terrorist attacks on 13 November, which claimed the lives of 130 people, the music industry responded with solemnity. Saint Cecilia isn’t just the name of the hotel in Austin, Texas where Foo Fighters recorded this surprise five-track EP; she was also a second-century martyr canonised as the patroness saint of musicians, a community who are still in shock following the tragic events in Paris earlier this month.

Despite having to cancel the remainder of its European tour because of the terror attacks in Paris, the Foo Fighters have released a new five-song EP on schedule. Dave Grohl can’t not have something to say on that subject – it’d be like the President skipping the weekly radio address after a national tragedy – but the attacks had a personal dimension for him: not only were they the reason behind the cancellation of yet another string of European Foo Fighters shows, but Grohl’s friends the Eagles Of Death Metal were on the ground in the Bataclan itself. A countdown clock on the band’s website hit zero at midnight on Monday, revealing a free download of “Saint Cecilia,” along with a link to donate to victims of the violence in Paris. “Let me begin with a preface to a letter I wrote a few weeks ago from my hotel room in Berlin,” Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters’ frontman, wrote in an accompanying note. “I felt the need to write this foreword in light of the heartbreaking tragedies of Nov. 13th, as this project has now taken on an entirely different tone.

The band posted the five-song EP for fans to download and stream for free, meant to mark the end of their world tour — which was thrown into tumult after Grohl broke his leg onstage in June. These five songs were actually written and recorded prior to the attacks, but given Foo Fighters’ history with holistic everyman anthems of wounded defiance, it’s no surprise to find them striking an appropriate tone on the title track. “Bring me some healing, Saint Cecilia carry me home/ To your house of broken bones”, implores Grohl, checking off the usual boxes (quiet-loud-quiet, solo in the middle, screaming to finish) but to more satisfying effect than just about anything on last year’s ‘Sonic Highways’. As has everything, it seems…” “Now, there is a new, hopeful intention that, even in the smallest way, perhaps these songs can bring a little light into this sometimes dark world,” he continued. “To remind us that music is life, and that hope and healing go hand in hand with song. Elsewhere, ‘Sean’ marks a welcome returns to a far older Foos tradition of wanting to be Hüsker Dü, eschewing the bloat of recent albums in favour of the leaner, punchier sound of their youth.

That much can never be taken away.” He added: “To all who were affected by the atrocities in Paris, loved ones and friends, our hearts go out to you and your families. But it’s ‘Savior Breath’ that feels like the real throwback: a cantankerous juggernaut of Motörhead riffs, hair metal guitar and Grohl snarling something about wanting to “ride my lungs on you” (us neither, but it has a certain ring to it). It’s such terrific fun, you can’t quite fathom how the same band could be responsible for something like ‘Iron Rooster’, which moseys on far too long and a little too close to Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’ for comfort, but normal service is thankfully resumed with ‘The Neverending Sigh’, ensuring the record ends on a fittingly-thunderous note. The concept being that, as our world tour drew to a close this week, we wanted to share our love of both with you in return for everything you have given us.

The EP marks what may be an extended break for the band, whose shows in Italy and France were canceled this month. “In light of this senseless violence, the closing of borders, and international mourning, we can’t continue right now,” the band said in a statement on Nov. 14. Grohl was more hopeful. “Maybe these songs are the breadcrumbs that will help us find our way back when it’s time,” he wrote. “We could use a nice wander through the woods right about now.” The minimalist, largely spoken word number, titled Friday 13th 2015, centers mostly on the nature of freedom. “The strongest statement of resistance is to just keep going,” Cocker says in the song, with music by Serafina Steer.

During the show, Cocker also played music from French musicians, including Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Dutronc and Françoise Hardy, as well as Frank Sinatra’s classic recording of I Love Paris. The song was written by Piaf in 1949 in dedication to her lover Marcel Cerdan, the French boxer who died in a plane crash on his way to New York from Paris. Actor Jared Leto, who also fronts the rock band 30 Seconds From Mars, relayed his personal connection to the tragedy in introducing Dion by naming friends and colleagues of his who had been at the Bataclan concert hall the night of the attacks –one of whom, Thomas Ayad, was killed. “Friday night you took an exception life, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hatred,” Leto read. “You’re asking for it, but responding with hatred and anger is falling victim to the same ignorance and hatred that has made you what you are.” “You want me to be scared to view my countrymen with mistrust,” Leto continued. “You lost.

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