I wanted to share my Illustration that made it onto an album cover. My very beautiful and talented friend Kelly Dance asked me to draw a portrait of her for her Album cover. This is a huge honour for me. I wish that with the skills from all my experiments and new ways of thinking about illustrations from this course was present at the time I created this piece. I think it would have been much better than this. However, I am proud of myself for actually putting my artwork out there and taking the chance!
Goodnight Berlin was mostly recorded over ten days and nights in an East Berlin studio with ex-pat and friend Simon Berkfinger (Feelings, Philly Jays).
Dance’s songs are haunted by these places. Half-dreamt, half-imaginary landscapes recur in Goodnight Berlin. A showpiece for Dance’s otherworldly voice, ‘Head in the Noose’ is a shifting, tumbling lament over the bare snap of guitar and drums, like Bo Diddley or Sanford Clark at their darkest. Dance’s voice recalls the cracked amber of Karen Dalton and the enigma of Josephine Foster. Kelly sings of lonely cities, empty rooms and pavement slipstreams. Spare and hand-made, with a ghosting of strings, ‘Head in the Noose’ has a subdued grandeur.
An album dark and nostalgic, sweet and unsettling, the warmth of Goodnight Berlin, as well as its strange, unexpected instrumental textures, are a product of its collaborative spirit. Upbeat sing-along ‘Sandy’ features cameo backing vocals from label mate Caitlin Park, and Dance joins in duets with Toby Martin from Youth Group and Aidan Roberts from The Maple Trail – the album also features a widescreen ballad penned by Roberts. Guest musicians provide bird- like clarinet lines in ‘Australia’ and the jingles, creaks and sighs in the aptly named ‘Signal’.
All songs written by Kelly Dance (except ‘Head in the Noose’, ‘Harpoon Medallion’, ‘White, White Ghosts’ written by John Dance and ‘Like a River’ written by Aidan Roberts)
All songs produced by Simon “Berkfinger” Berckelman
All songs recorded by Simon “Berkfinger” Berckelman (except for male vocal and acoustic guitar written, performed and recorded by Aidan Roberts on ‘Like a River’ and strings arranged and performed by Jamie McCarthy and recorded by Daniel Lea on ‘Signal’ and ‘Head in a Noose’)
Published by Broken Stone Records
Mixed by John Dance
Mastered at Abbey Road
Featured portrait of Kelly Dance – Stephanie Gotterson
Artwork and Design – Michael Giles
2012 Broken Stone Records
A special thanks to Berkfinger and Johnny Dance for a wonderful 10
days and nights at the Funkhaus, Planet Roc in Berlin where this album
was mostly performed and recorded. Again to Johnny Dance and Aidan
Roberts for lending me their beautiful songs and to all the musicians
who played and sung on this album.
Thank you to Jonathon Desmond Miller and the rest of the team at Broken Stone Records.
All songs were performed by Kelly Dance (vocals and acoustic guitar), John Dance (keys, piano, electric guitar and harmonica), and Simon Berckelman (drums and bass).
Including special guests; Aidan Roberts (vocals and acoustic guitar on ‘Like a River’), Toby Martin (vocals on ‘Harpoon Medallion’), Erin Haeata (trumpet on ‘Harpoon Medallion’), Rainer Theobald (clarinet and saxophone on ‘Australia’ and ‘Sandy’), Caitlin McGregor (back up vocals on ‘Sandy’), and Jamie McCarthy (cello, viola, and violin on ‘Head in the Noose’ and ‘Signal’).
Jan 2014: Just received my very own copy of the album. Feel very proud to see it in the flesh with my illustrations and i love the design choice to add the gold.