On May 24, XL Recordings will release The Ghost Who Walks, the debut album by Karen Elson.

It’s the supermodel’s first full-length release, but not her first foray into music: as well as singing on a 2003 version of Robert Plant’s ‘Last Time I Saw Her’, and working with Cat Power on an English-language rendition of ‘Je T’Aime…Moi Non Plus’ (for a 2006 Serge Gainsbourg tribute album), Elson is a founding member of politically-minded New York cabaret collective The Citizens Band.

The 11 original tracks on The Ghost Who Walks were written in the wake of Elson’s relocation to Nashville. When she played the songs to her husband, The White Stripes’ Jack White, he suggested they head to the studio.

White took on production and drumming duties, enlisting The Citizens Band’s Rachelle Garniez (accordion, vocals), The Dead Weather’s Jack Lawrence (bass), My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel (pedal steel) and Jackson Smith (guitar). In addition to the 11 originals, they cut a cover of Garniez’s ‘Lunasa’; the tracks ‘100 Years From Now’ and ‘Mouths To Feed’ were apparently inspired by Tim Egan’s The Worst Hard Time. According to a press release, the musical moods on display range from “lonesome country” and “the tormented side of the blues” to “traditional folk balladry” and more “theatrical numbers”. The sleeve design comes courtesy of graphic artist Rob Jones.

‘The Ghost Who Walks’ was the nickname Elson suffered at school before embarking on her illustrious fashion career (who knew bullies could be so poetic?).

1. The Ghost Who Walks
2. The Truth Is The Dirt
3. Pretty Babies
4. Lunasa
5. 100 Years From Now
6. Stolen Roses
7. Garden
8. Cruel Summer
9. The Birds They Circle
10. A Thief At My Door
11. The Last Laugh
12. Mouths To Feed



Share Tweet