Marianne Faithfull Shares 'They Come At Night' From 'Honest' New Album: Premiere

Marianne Faithfull
Yann Orhan

Marianne Faithfull 

Negative Capability is in some ways no different than the other 20 studio albums Marianne Faithfull has recorded since 1964. "I just try and make a beautiful record," she tells Billboard. But, Faithfull acknowledges, the new set -- whose rocking "They Come at Night" is premiering exclusively below -- is also "kind of special."

"I write about my life," the Paris-based singer, who launched her career with the Rolling Stones-penned "As Tears Go By," explains. And the passing of old friends such as Leonard Cohen and Anita Pallenberg (the inspiration for the album's "Born to Live") helped push Faithfull towards what she considers "the most honest album I've ever made.... Events took over, and a lot of my dearest friends died in the last two or three years. The one thing I decided is I wanted to go much further than I ever have before in being really honest. I always try to hide myself somehow, but now I felt it's time I can reveal my true self more than I have.

"You would think I have already," Faithfull adds with a chuckle, "but believe me there's a lot more, and some of that comes out on this album."

Co-produced by Rob Ellis, who also worked on 2014's Give My Love to London, with Warren Ellis of Nick Cave's Bad Seeds, Negative Capability's 10 tracks include collaborations with Cave, Ed Harcourt and Screaming Trees' Mark Lanegan. The set also features a cover of Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and revisits two of Faithfull's older favorites -- "Witches' Song" from Faithfull's lauded 1979 album Broken English, which Faithfull "always thought wasn't quite right," and another take on "As Tears Go By." "That was Warren's idea," Faithfull says. "I didn't think it was a good idea at first; I love it, but we've done it twice already and I felt like, 'No, not again.' But actually he was right. It turned out beautifully, and it was lovely to do it again. I was only a little child, 17, when I first recorded it, so I don't know if I really understood it -- I may not even now, but I think I do even more."

Recorded in France, Negative Capability comes out Nov. 2. Faithfull is not sure about a follow-up -- "There are thoughts, but nothing else. Just thoughts," she says -- but she’s hoping to play a selection of live dates to support the new album. "Not many," she says, "but what I'd like to do is two shows in London, two shows in Paris and two in Berlin. And if they really want me in (the U.S.) it's down to a lot of money and a private jet, something like that."