Marianne Faithfull, “Late Victorian Holocaust”

Andrew Parks

By Andrew Parks

on 09.22.14 in Listen to This

“Oh man, it’s incredible,” Marianne Faithfull said of her new single (the Nick Cave-penned “Late Victorian Holocaust”) in a recent FACT interview. “But actually only he could have written it, because he had that experience, and only I could have sung it. Amy Winehouse could have possibly sung it but she’s dead. She didn’t stick around long enough, silly girl.” 

She’s right about the “only I could have sung it” part; between its lonesome piano lines, misty synth melodies, and bright, violent bursts of violin (courtesy of Cave’s Bad Seeds bandmate Warren Ellis), “Late Victorian Holocaust” is the perfect vehicle for Faithfull’s signature scowl, which hasn’t dulled one bit 20 solo albums into a storied career that started in the mid ’60s. Like her razor-sharp responses to poorly researched magazine pieces — she tells FACT about a “dumb chick from a fashion magazine… bubbling away in Kardashian,” completely missing the level of sarcasm in her new Give My Love to London record — it’s only gotten tougher with time. More importantly, with songs like this, it’s also as essential as it’s ever been.