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Paloma’s ferocious sixth album, The Glorification of Sadness, is an epic, expansive, deeply personal record that turns over these feelings by taking a chronological journey through the cracking of an adult relationship, and with it a family. There are no conclusions, just empathetic questions from an artist obsessed with interrogating the status quo and upending assumptions. (Plus one petulant rager called, brilliantly, Eat Shit and Die.) After she completed Infinite Things by learning how to self-produce in her basement during the pandemic, Paloma is billed here as executive producer, having meticulously tweaked mixes, orchestrated the writing teams and co curated the album’s visual world. The documentary showed her previous creative struggles with her label; this time, she made the record privately, inspired by her earliest musical experiences in a rock band, and delivered the completed product, to the surprise of her team. “It sounds how I wanted it to sound,” she says. “My note, most of the time, was either ‘angrier’ or ‘darker’.”

Despite Paloma’s clear creative directive, the album’s title sums up her ambivalence about a culture in which “there’s quite a sick and twisted call for any artist to turn the most awful things that happened to them into a commodity,” she says. “It’s a strange idea, to sell your own grieving process. Writing about it was a therapeutic experience for me but at the same time now that I’m left with this object for sale, it is a bit sinister.” She felt she had no choice but to write about her experiences “because it’s all I think about”. Compelled by the nuanced television adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage, Paloma also wanted to counter the prevailing societal concept of victims and villains in the breakdown of a relationship. “How to Leave a Man is meant to be empowering,” she says. “It’s about taking control and responsibility for your own happiness as a woman. And not listening to the din of social pressures saying: you’re only accepted as a woman if you’re a victim. There’s no room for a woman to say: actually, I just wasn’t really happy. It’s not really seen as acceptable, especially when there’s kids involved. You’re just a bad mother, selfish or whatever. So in this album, I’m trying to pull it in the direction of it being OK to take ownership of your own happiness and not be a victim. Re-establishing ideas of how we demonise women.”

Paloma Faith Dates & Tickets



06 Jun


Bath Forum

Paloma Faith: In Conversation

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