INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Q OCTOBER 2007 - by John Aizlewood
UNTITLED: EXPECTED EARLY 2008
"It's been an on and off thing," explains Dido from Los Angeles where she is mixing her third album with acclaimed producer Jon Brion, best known for steering Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright and Kanye West. "I recorded my vocals next to the Hoover in Jon's broom cupboard. It was so small, there wasn't even room for a guitar. I got quite addicted to singing in there."
Such eccentricity provided much-needed light relief after a truly rotten year. Dido took most of 2006 off to tend to her ailing father, William, who died just before Christmas.
Inspired and comforted, she called Eno herself. Never one to duck an unexpected collaboration, Eno agreed, and the pair wrote two songs together. "He's so interesting and interested," she says. "I love people who stimulate my brain." One of them, the grief-stricken Grafton Street, has made the album's final cut and Dido was able to serenade her father with the chorus.
Asaide from the orchestral and Swiss handbell sessions at London'd Abbey Road, the recordings took place at Brion's Los Angeles home studio. Unlike previous Dido albums, there are no loops or programmes.
Utilising Brion's large instrument collection, including a glass harmonica ("It's a bitch to play: it's on a stand and you have to put your hands in a bowl of water first"), the pair played and wrote most of the tracks, such as It Comes And It Goes ("about losing your mind"), Look No Further, Never Want To Say It's Love and The Day Before. Dido's brother Rollo, of dance outfit Faithless, chipped in on the writing, while drumming guests culled from Brion's contact book included Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood ("he's got brilliant stories and he gets so emotional telling them"), The Roots' ?uestlove and sessioneers James Gadson and Jim Keltner.
The only thing that remains is to settle on an album title. However, after selling twelve million copies of 1999's No Angel and nine of 2003's Life For Rent, Dido is not one to be rushed. "What's the point?" she says. "I'll wake up one day and it'll be there."