Track of the Day: Dede (Feat: Alan Wilder) – “Calling the Clock”

Track of the Day: Dede (Feat: Alan Wilder) – “Calling the Clock”

XS NOIZE brings to you today a rather special exclusive – the introduction of a brand new artist – singer/songwriter Dede from London with her first single release Calling The Clock featuring none other than Alan Wilder on piano, the creator of the experimental musical project Recoil and of course, a key member of Depeche Mode from 1982 until 1995. He has been rather quiet, musically of late which makes his contribution to Dede’s single all the more intriguing. They recorded the song together in London and the single is released today on Smile Records.

Dede has a passion for writing and performing her own music – this has been developed from an early age from when she took flute and classical piano lessons. After leaving Croydon for the University of Manchester, she took a Politics degree and began writing and collaborating with local musicians, playing her first shows and recording late night sessions in local studios. She began creating her own sound inspired by her favourite artists and newfound indie surroundings in Manchester. Her first recorded song, “Give In To You” found its way onto the playlists of BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio 1Xtra. After graduating, Dede moved back to London to attend The Academy of Contemporary Music, where she honed her songwriting skills and was picked by Paul Hardcastle to sing the vocals for the 30 year anniversary remake of “19”, after she was selected as one of MTV’s “Top 20 Ones to Watch”.

Dede was subsequently signed to Schubert Music Publishing and is now working on her debut album, collaborating with artists such as Steve Hewitt (Love Amongst Ruin /ex-Placebo) and Polly Scattergood. In the summer of 2016, she was introduced to Alan Wilder and asked him to play piano on a song she had recently written – “Calling The Clock” – you can watch Dede perform the song BELOW:-

Both artists have kindly provided accounts of what it was like working together on this production:

Alan: “Dede and I met through her manager and she sent me over the demo of “Calling The Clock”, asking if I would oversee a studio recording and arrange and perform the piano part for the final version. I was struck not only by her beautifully soulful and sophisticated voice, but also the simplicity and directness of the words along with a melody which left plenty of room to come up with the arrangement: hopefully one which compliments those things without becoming overbearing, allowing the strength of the song itself to shine through. 

With limited hours in the studio, an immediate focus was required to get the right piano and vocal performances, all in record time! For me, a little old school having got used to utilising all kinds of digital tools and electronic equipment with my own recorded music. The whole experience was refreshing and rewarding and I wish Dede all the luck in the world with her career.”

Dede: “It took me a while to write this song. I had the title lying around on a piece of paper months before I actually started writing it. I knew I liked the sound of it; I just didn’t have a clue what it meant to me or what it could turn into. It came out of frustration, I kind of just stopped caring what it could be and at 1am on a Saturday I just wrote what came out and what I felt like. So when I sent the demo off to my manager, I was surprised to get a positive reaction and he suggested that Alan could arrange and record it with me. Again, I was shocked that Alan even agreed. The first time we met was at the studio on recording day. I was so nervous, especially because on the way I lost my bank card and was almost late, running around Wood Green, following google maps like a crazy person trying to find the studio. When I met Alan, I calmed down.

We had almost no time to rehearse. I think we went through it two or three times and that was it and we had just four hours to record the song and the video at the same time. It became clear that we are both perfectionists so we fitted perfectly. We definitely didn’t give each other an easy time. I’m a big fan of simple music and there wasn’t anywhere to hide in this song, either on the piano or the vocals. It was so exposed, so we tried hard and worked together to get every section sounding good. Alan brought a magic to this song that I couldn’t have even imagined. He transformed it into something delicate yet powerful. To work alongside his attention to detail, his skill and kind spirit was something I never thought I’d ever get the chance to do and I’m grateful beyond words. I hope everyone will enjoy listening to this song as much as we did making it. “

It’s certainly a beautiful song largely because of its simplicity – from the first opening piano note, Wilder’s subtle work is a perfect companion to Dede’s soulful vocal. There is an old-fashioned quality about the song – it’s refreshing in its bareness, its ability to stand up strong because of the strength of Dede’s emotional melody accompanied by Wilder. At the final notes, expect goosebumps. Dede has an incredible voice and shows real talent if this is a taste of her songwriting abilities. And of course, it’s a real joy to hear Alan Wilder back at the piano again – it’s been a long time. XS Noize will be keeping an eye on Dede and look forward to hearing more from her in the future.

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