Recording "Songbird In A Cage"

Circa 2016 • For Charlotte Gainsbourg

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Rest Official album.
Timeline More from year 2016
Studio:
Electric Lady Sound Studios, New York City, USA

Some songs from this session appear on:


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About

Paul McCartney wrote the song “Songbird In A Cage” for English-French actress and singer-songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg. In 2016, she was working on her next album along with producer Sebastian Akchoté, and called Paul McCartney to participate in the recording session, which he accepted.

From New York Times, November 9, 2017

[In 2013] she met with the D.J. and producer Sebastian Akchoté, known for his remixes of Daft Punk and Justice, and gave him a mood-board-style list of cinematic reference points […] Mr. Akchoté flew in [in autumn 2014] to join her at a small studio in Brooklyn. They went on to write and record the bulk of the album there over the next year or so […]

In 2016, they went to the Electric Lady studio in Manhattan to continue recording with help from others, including the Canadian composer Owen Pallett, who wrote string arrangements for several songs. For the upbeat groove “Songbird in a Cage,” Ms. Gainsbourg called in a favor from Paul McCartney, who had written the song for her years earlier and dropped by one day to play guitar, drums and piano. “He was like a child, having fun, trying every instrument,” Mr. Akchoté said. “It was unreal.

Charlotte Gainsbourg: [Songbird In A Cage] is the first song that actually happened. I asked if I could meet with Paul McCartney, and he accepted, which was a surprise. And it was, I remember, I was very pregnant. So it was six and a half years ago. And I just said “you know, in case you have the time, I’d love to be able to make a song with you”, and maybe just two weeks or a week later, he sent me this track.

Sebastian Akchoté: I didn’t want to lose this track, because the first version was cool. But something was not going with the other tracks. So I don’t know, I worked a lot on the pitch and the track, and a lot of things happened on this track, and I decided to send it to Paul McCartney. I was kind of scared. I thought he would say like “I don’t seem to recognize this”. So… He certainly said, yeah. And he came to the studio.

Charlotte Gainsbourg: He came, and it was a really very special moment, of course, because he is a legend. So I was very impressed. And at the same time, like all legends, he was very simple. It was one of the first ones that we were trying out, also for the theme to try and push me in different directions to try and, you know, shout the lyrics or be more aggressive. So I had done the singing, but then he came in, you know, when we thought “Oh, well, I might as well sing it again”. And I was appalling.

Sebastian Akchoté: When I told her, she told me “I can’t go” but you have to learn from the best teacher. So I remember him arriving in the studio, a real man. When he came in, he started to play with all the instruments, he was like a child, five years old. And it was just really beautiful to see.

From FacebookEPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.
Still photo from FacebookEPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.
Still photo from FacebookEPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.
Still photo from FacebookEPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.
Still photo from FacebookEPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.
Still photo from FacebookEPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.
Still photo from FacebookEPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.
Still photo from FacebookEPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.
Still photo from Facebook – EPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.
Still photo from FacebookEPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.
Still photo from FacebookEPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.
Still photo from FacebookEPK Paul – Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Songbird In A Cage” was written by Paul McCartney. Here’s a little video of SebastiAn and I discussing the story behind the song and the time we spent with Paul in the studio.

Last updated on April 11, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Songbird In A Cage

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Staff

Musicians

Paul McCartney:
Additional drums, Guitar, Piano
Charlotte Gainsbourg:
Vocals

Production staff

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