'A late-night, gipsy travelogue spiced with world music influences.' The Telegraph
'Gardot's dusky voice smoulders.' Daily Telegraph
'She's a natural, as well as an 'au naturel', talent.' The Times
'Invitation au plaisir.' Télérama.fr
'Essential listening.' Sunday Times Culture
Written by Melody and produced by composer and guitarist Heitor Pereira - who also composed all the orchestral arrangements on the album - ‘The Absence' is a stunning 11-track culmination of Melody's year-long globetrotting experiences. From the deserts of Morocco to the beaches of Brazil, ‘The Absence' pulses to the hypnotic rhythms of Fado, Tango and Samba. Melody is joined on the album by acclaimed musicians; bassist John Leftwich, percussionist Paulihno DaCosta and drummers Jim Kelter and Peter Erskine among many others. Lead track ‘Mira' is a warm bossa nova accent with a heart of gold, accompanied by a vibrant video shot in the streets and alleyways of Rio de Janeiro. Then there's ‘Lisboa', a glimpse of Melody's stay in the Portuguese capital capturing the musical sounds of the streets.
Other album highlights include the classic Gershwin swell of ‘So We Meet Again My Heartache', the tango-ready ‘Goodbye', and the uplifiting world-beat of ‘Amalia' - the first single, released May 21st which was co-written by Pereira and Phil Roy.
A renowned film composer (Despicable Me, Its Complicated, From Prada To Nada) - Heitor Pereira has also worked with Simply Red, Sting and Seal as a world-class session guitarist. "It was a beautiful connection," Melody says of their meeting. "I needed a partner - a collaborator, and a bit of genius in his own right. Someone crazy enough to understand how serious I am when I say, 'I want to play palm leaves and a washboard' - and make it work."
‘The Absence' is the follow-up to 2009's ‘My One and Only Thrill' - Melody's second album which took her to the heights of global stardom. The Sunday Times called it "A must-hear"; it went Gold in the UK, reached No.1 in Sweden and Japan and hit the Top Twenty in over twelve countries, as well as going double platinum in France and Sweden.
'While so many of today's retro-styled chanteuses look and sound the part when they're singing, they often break the spell when talking (or, bless her, in Adele's case, when laughing). But 27-year-old Melody Gardot doesn't just deliver her smoky, speakeasy jazz like a vintage vixen - she also wisecracks like Lauren Bacall. "When people compare me to Norah Jones," she once remarked, "I say that she wins Grammys and I act like one. I move slowly and I'm a bit of an old soul." Referring to her trademark look she said, "Musicians are a bit strange and bizarre anyway, though, so the cane, glasses and moon boots are a bit of a hit."
If you missed Gardot's remarkable story when she released her debut, Worrisome Heart, in 2006, or the bestselling My One and Only Thrill in 2009, then here's the quick version. She was knocked off of her bicycle when she was 19, suffered a broken pelvis and severe head and spinal injuries which have left her with memory problems, an unusual sense of time and a hypersensitivity to light. She had begun playing the piano in Philadelphia bars when she was 16 so one of her doctors suggested music therapy. She taught herself the guitar in hospital and - unable to tolerate the louder music she'd enjoyed before her accident - began writing quiet, jazzy songs.
Her sultry third album plays like a late-night, gipsy travelogue spiced with world music influences reflecting, we are told, "time spent in the deserts of Morocco, the tango bars of Buenos Aires, the beaches of Brazil and the streets of Lisboa".
Produced by Brazilian composer and guitarist Heitor Pereira, and woven from wafts of intricately picked acoustic guitar, heat-hazy flutes and silky strings, it's music that moves with the soft, supple drama of a flamenco dancer's fan. Songs of wandering souls and aching hearts are embroidered with klezma clarinet, moody drifts of harmonica and castanet flourishes. Gardot's dusky voice smoulders as it slinks and scats through the mix - never breaking a sweat but always in control as she sings in English, French and Portuguese.' The Telegraph
'The Absence is an album of seductive, mysterious atmospheres conjured by a pop-jazz singer whose audacity, raw talent and intense feeling recall the young Rickie Lee Jones, even though the two have little in common beyond a fierce individuality.' New York Times