Tricky is back. Back with a new studio album, False Idols, and his own label (also bearing the False Idols name), but also back in a personal sense. "I was lost for ages", he says. "I was trying to prove something to people, trying to do something to please other people and also myself at the same time, which is never going to work. To be honest with you, I've been floating around since Chris Blackwell and Island. My last two albums, I thought they were good, but I realise now they weren't. This album is about me finding myself again."
It opens with a cover of a Van Morrison song, "Somebody's Sins," which sees Tricky and vocalist Francesca Belmonte whispering "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine" over a sparse groaning bass. The lead single "Parenthesis," which features a vocals from Peter Silberman of The Antlers, has more rhythmic grunt, which gives a different dimension to the dark gothic atmosphere that pervades the record. No-one does this kind of thing better.
The resemblance to Maxinquaye is undeniable, though the material on False Idols is gentler; more mature. Many of the songs feature artists signed to Tricky's new label, including 24-year Londoner Francesca Belmonte and Fifi Rong. The album also includes collaborations with Nigeria's new global star Nneka, the afore-mentioned Peter Silberman. In the months before the album's release, False Idols will also release an EP "Matter of Time" showcasing the label's roster on new non-album material produced by Tricky.
Why the name False Idols? "Because there's so much bollocks going on at the moment mate," Tricky fires back. "People follow celebrities and read every little thing they do. It's living vicariously through someone else. Get your own life. All this stuff is false idols. "In this new album I'll stand behind every track," Tricky says. "I don't care whether people like it. I'm doing what I want to do, which is what I did with my first record. That's what made me who I was in the beginni