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July 23 2014

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1 posts tagged "Elvis Costello"

Wendy James Will Blow Your Mind

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Where does the sex kitten lead singer of one of the most critically reviled pop acts of all time go when her band breaks up? Why, to A.P.C., of course. Wendy James was hard on the heels of her first album post-Transvision Vamp when A.P.C. honcho Jean Touitou offered her his recording studio, which he keeps tucked away at A.P.C. headquarters in Paris. “It was just to play around in, really,” explains James. “The album I’d released, I’d worked on with Elvis Costello. It wasn’t mine, exactly. I needed some time to find my footing as a solo artist.” That was about 12 years ago. This spring, James returned to Touitou’s studio (the place where Jarvis Cocker and Wes Anderson recorded the music for The Fabulous Mr. Fox) and laid down the tracks for her forthcoming solo debut, I Came Here to Blow Minds. Here, James gives Style.com an exclusive preview of the song “King Hoodlum” and talks to us about Sonic Youth, Surface 2 Air, and selling T-shirts at Colette.

I Came Here to Blow Minds is the first “Wendy James” album, but since leaving Transvision Vamp, you’ve actually released two LPs under the name Racine. I’ve always been under the impression that Racine No. 1 and Racine 2 were solo projects. Not so?
Well, those albums were all me, certainly. Racine No. 1 came out of my building a studio at my house in London and teaching myself, you know, the technical side of things. Other than the guitar parts, I played every instrument on that album—it wasn’t until I was going on tour that I got a band together. And those folks came along and recorded the second album with me. But this one, I’ve moved on again. I think the name Racine served as a way to separate myself from Transvision Vamp—there’s that thing, when someone goes solo after being in a band that’s had some success, where the legacy of the band kind of trails off after them. Racine was kind of a useful disguise, and a conduit to what I’m doing now, owning up to my name. Sometimes you have to be quite brutal and walk away from everything you’ve previously achieved.

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