It’s been 27 years since Shakespears Sister’s last album as a duo, and Siobhan Fahey acknowledges that the aptly titled new EP Ride Again is something she and Marcella Detroit “should have done a long time ago.”
The spirited five-song set, which features a duet with Richard Hawley on “When She Finds You,” resurrects a partnership that splintered acrimoniously back in 1993, after just two albums and hits such as “Stay,” “I Don’t Care” and “You’re History” — though Fahey (ex-Bananarama) recorded under the group name during the ’00s. They cleared the air during May of 2018 in a Los Angeles coffee shop (Detroit notes that she had herbal tea), which led to a new kind of understanding and operating methodology.
“There wasn’t enough discussion and communication going on,” explains Detroit — nee Levy, who co-wrote Eric Clapton’s “Lay Down Sally” and has worked with Clapton, Bob Seger, Leon Russell, Alice Cooper, Was (Not Was) and others. “There were people in between us that were causing problems and more distance between us. It was very difficult to navigate.” Fahey adds that “both of us sharing the spotlight brings out insecurities and confusions about role and stuff. It’s not something we discussed back then. I think open communication is something we’ve learned as we got older and wiser.”
Fahey and Detroit discussed reuniting further during the summer of 2018 in London, after Fahey had done some reunion shows with Bananarama and Detroit performed with Clapton in Hyde Park.” “I was just dying to make new music and I didn’t want to just do a retro thing,” Fahey says. “I really wanted it to be new music, and Marcy and I always worked so well together as writers and artists, it seemed like the obvious place to start.” They convened last October at a friend’s Airbnb in Joshua Tree to write songs, coming up with the single “All the Queen’s Horses” and “C U Next Tuesday,” both on Ride Again, which comes out Oct. 25.
“It was very inspiring,” Fahey says. “The magic was still there. We never had any issues, creatively. Both of us were open to experimenting on each other’s ideas, even though we come from very different backgrounds musically and culturally. I think that’s what made Shakespears Sister unique — and still does.”
Both consider Ride Again the first page in a new chapter for the group. The next step is performing live again, with a 13-date U.K. tour staring Oct. 31 in Nottingham. Fahey and Detroit hope to take the show to other territories, including the U.S., next year. “We’ll go anywhere there’s an audience,” Fahey says. “It doesn’t really feel like starting over, either. Marcy described it as like somebody hit the pause button back then and we just paused it and now it’s on with the show.”