This all begins with a chance encounter on an airplane, when singer/pianist Jesse Paris Smith—daughter of ur-punk high priestess Patti Smith—encountered Stephan Crasneanscki on an airplane bound for New York City. Crasneanscki is the founder and leader of Soundwalk Collective, an acclaimed experimental music trio known for incorporating field recordings and other concrète elements into lush ambient music, and that meeting led to the conception of Killer Road, a 2014 multimedia performance with projections by Tina Frank, that endeavored to examine the work and death of Christa “Nico” Päffgen, the singer best known for her work with the early Velvet Underground, and who died in a bicycle accident in 1988.
That performance has been turned into a studio album for Sacred Bones, also called Killer Road and due out on September 2nd. The album variously features Nico cover songs and poems with Smith mère reciting/singing the lyrics. The songs that have been pre-released suggest that the album will likely be a stunner—a video for the title track, again by Tina Frank, was released in July:
Over the weekend, a new video was issued, for “Fearfully in Danger,” a cover of a song from Nico’s final studio album Camera Obscura. The track underscores the connection between Nico and Smith, who related “…when I was young … I had no ambition to be a singer – I was simply trying to deliver my poetry – as [Nico] did – in a unique way.” The harmonium played on the song once actually belonged to Nico—it was rescued from a pawn shop by Patti Smith herself, in 1978.
Watch more after the jump….