InstituteEventsSeven years after the release and success of his first album, The Golden Age, French artist Woodkid has today returned with a melancholy and eminently political sophomore album, S16. We were honoured to welcome Yoann into Studio Two to record the strings, woodwind and brass for S16 with Abbey Road recording engineer John Barrett and assistant engineer Christopher Parker.
Woodkid recognised his musical signature for the album from the first track, the impressive Goliath. The first extract from the long-awaited second album, it marked a seismic return to the spotlight for the artist. A skillful blend of meticulous sound design, futuristic electronics and majestic strings, on which he lends his haunting vocals, compliment the piece seamlessly.
Yoann Lemoine spoke to us on the joy of working on the single, and the entire record, at Abbey Road: “What a privilege to record with John in a place like this. I never thought my passion for the orchestral work would lead me to Abbey Road one day. Only in a studio like Abbey Road and with such a team, could I have gathered so many incredible musicians, in such an unusual formation - including 3 contrabassoons! - to perform the challenging task of recording Goliath. A song where sound dimension, mix and texture are so prominent and important. I am so grateful. Thank you to John, all the musicians, producers involved and the wonderful teams at Abbey Road.”Abbey Road's John Barrett who engineered the sessions added: "The Woodkid sessions, from around this time last year, are now more than ever particularly memorable. Not only did I have the opportunity to work with a great artist who had a very clear artistic vision and concept, we were blessed with great music that was beautifully and creatively orchestrated, and in turn performed by a fabulous array of London's finest musicians in Studio Two. It also helped that we managed to have a really great time recording it too!"
S16 mark the follow-up to Woodkid’s 2013 debut The Golden Age, which sold nearly one million copies worldwide and was nominated for two GRAMMY Awards. In the time since The Golden Age was released, Woodkid has worked with Nicolas Ghesquière from Louis Vuitton, the New York City Ballet, Jonas Cuaron to write the original soundtrack of Desierto, and more. More recently, in 2019, the second episode of Netflix’s hit series The Umbrella Academy featured another song from The Golden Age, Run Boy Run, both as soundtrack to a pivotal scene and as the episode’s title.
S16 is an epic record, dark and yet luminous in places, all served by a strong and always striking visual universe, under the leadership of the artist since he is also a video director. Yoann first made a name for himself as a videographer, producing music videos for Lana Del Rey's Born To Die and Katy Perry's Teenage Dream, and more recently, Harry Styles' Sign of the Times. Yoann has also leant his many skills to film scoring, where in 2015, he scored the soundtrack to Divergente 2 as well as Desierto from Alfonso Cuaron.
2) In Your Likeness
1) Pale Yellow
3) Highway 27
2) Drawn To you
1) So Handsome Hello
2) Horizons Into Battlegrounds
3) Minus Sixty One
Pre-order on the Abbey Road Shop now.