Mick Harvey @ The Gate

ft. Amanda Acevedo | JP Shilo | Sometimes With Others: The Invisible Blue Unicorns
Friday 15/09/2023
  • Mick Harvey @ The Gate
  • ft. Amanda Acevedo | JP Shilo | Sometimes With Others: The Invisible Blue Unicorns
  • Date: Friday 15/09/2023
  • Time: 7.00pm
  • Price: £25
  • Age Restrictions: 18+
  • Venue: Clwb Ifor Bach

Mick Harvey of The Birthday Party, and The Bad Seeds, will be presenting material from his new album of duets with Mexican singer Amanda Acevedo, Berlin’s ’Sometimes with Others’ and J.P. Shilo

Mick Harvey & Amanda Acevedo have announced details of a new collaborative album, Phantasmagoria in Blue, set for release on Mute on vinyl, CD and digitally in September 2023.

The album release follows a European tour that will see Harvey and Acevedo join J.P. Shilo and Berlin band Sometimes with Others for a musical phantasmagoria, presented as the Invisible Blue Unicorns throughout May – full details below – with further dates in autumn across the UK, Ireland and beyond…

Mexican singer and filmmaker Amanda Acevedo met Mick Harvey several years ago in Mexico City while Harvey was on tour with P.J. Harvey, but it wasn’t until 2021 that their current project burst into life, as the pair shared musical and other ideas across the oceans and through the ether between Australia and Mexico. After Acevedo initially suggested the collaboration, Harvey sent over some ideas and, Acevedo explains, “The first recording we did was amazing, our voices matched very well”. Harvey expands, “…little by little it started to feel like something that could be an important project and gradually became the dominant focus for the following 18 months”

Phantasmagoria in Blue is a 14-track album of duets, with Harvey and Acevedo bringing new life to songs which were sourced from existing duets, songs that were never intended as duets, translations from Spanish, songs sung in Spanish, and a sprinkling of original compositions. Thematically the album explores the perennial themes of mortality, love and mankind’s search for meaning as well as incorporating an enthused engagement with the enigmatic and mythical.

Following their initial long distance collaborative work, Harvey and Acevedo met up in Los Angeles so they could continue work in person. Harvey explains, “We aimed big, I wanted it to be a big production to match the level of ambition in the whole idea. I think it’s one of the best things I’ve been involved in, for a long time”. In LA they worked with Alain Johannes (Eleven, Mark Lanegan, Queens of the Stone Age), recording most of the vocals at Norm Block’s Happy Ending studios in Silverlake. Late in 2022 they continued work in Melbourne, while also playing some shows in Australia together with J.P. Shilo (Hungry Ghosts, Rowland S. Howard) who is also featured on the album playing guitar and miscellaneous instruments. Harvey finished mixing the album, and coordinated the mastering with local legend Mikey Young, before Acevedo returned to Mexico.

Phantasmagoria in Blue is lush and sweeping in its emotional content and full of nourishment for the imagination and the senses, reworking and reinterpreting songs from artists as varied as Tim Buckley, Luis Eduardo Aute, Sibylle Baier, Silvio Rodriguez and Pat Benatar. Says Avecedo, “It was an unlikely connection and a very unlikely situation but it started working and has developed into a good friendship that I’m very grateful for. The album is a testimony to this.”