Nearly ten years in the making, The Task Has Overwhelmed Us is the long-awaited fourth volume in The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project series. Following We Are Only Riders (2009), The Journey Is Long (2012) and Axels and Sockets (2014), The Task Has Overwhelmed Us presents stellar interpretations of tracks from Pierce’s Gun Club and solo canons along with fresh works constructed from rehearsal skeletons, and previously unheard lyrics. ‘Mother Of Earth’ by Dave Gahan is the opening track from this instalment and the second single from the album.
This haunting classic from The Gun Club's album ‘Miami’ gets reinterpreted as a soul-clenching, gospel-infused, piano-driven anthem led by the Depeche Mode frontman and produced and arranged by Australian-born, Brighton-based singer-guitarist Suzie Stapleton. The song is awarded extra resonance by Gahan's meaty baritone, evocatively garnished by his own lead guitar, Suzie’s piano and backing vocals, violin by James Johnston (Gallon Drunk, The Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey), Gavin Jay (Jim Jones Revue / All Stars) on bass, and Ian White (Gallon Drunk) on drums.
Stapleton says, “This started off with me tinkering on piano in my home studio. The lyrics are so beautiful and evocative and I wanted to see if I could take this song to a different place - a tricky endeavour when the original is so perfect. When I invited Dave to take part in the project he was working on the Soulsavers covers record ‘Imposter’ and had been playing around with his own version of Mother of Earth which they didn’t end up recording. So I showed him my version, and he agreed to take part - It was very serendipitous.”
Gahan beautifully plugs into Jeffrey's spine-chilling acknowledgement of his own self-destruction. Talking about the song, Jeffrey acknowledged he'd sealed his fate. "You think about your home, 'Gee wouldn't it be great if I could be back there again but I'm too far gone now, I'm in the abyss now, I'm hopeless now, I give up’. That's what 'Mother Of Earth' is about... like, going up the river in Apocalypse Now or something? I'd gone all the way up the Cambodian River and it had completely ruined my life. I'd become completely jaded and soulless and meaningless. I just kept thinking 'I can never go back there again, I'm too far into this now.' I could see now what my life was going to be like."
Gahan nails exactly that with sensitivity and control over Stapleton's evocatively conceived backdrop. The film clip was shot in London during the Depeche Mode World Tour, which is currently in full swing in support of their stunning new album ‘Memento Mori’.
Check out the video for ‘Mother of Earth’ - BELOW:
‘The Task Has Overwhelmed Us’ will be released on September 29th via Glitterhouse Records and also features Nick Cave, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, Warren Ellis, Mick Harvey, Lydia Lunch, Cypress Grove, Mark Stewart, Jim Jones, Jim Jarmusch, Peter Hayes, The Coathangers, Suzie Stapleton, Duke Garwood & more.