10 Questions To Skye Edwards of Morcheeba


By Julien Sauvalle

The voice of Morcheeba talks about the band's breakup and reunion, and spills details on their new album 'Head Up High', out now.

As the lead singer of the British trip-hop band Morcheeba, Skye Edwards has one of the most recognizable voices on the planet. Hearing her smooth, effortless tone for the first time on tracks like "The Sea" or "Otherwise" is an unforgettable, spellbinding invitation to an aural voyage. After seven years of separation, Paul and Ross Godfrey, the founding siblings of Morcheeba, invited Skye back into the band. Their reunion materialized into the acclaimed Blood Like Lemonde, released in 2010, and continues as they introduce their latest LP, Head Up High, a more eclectic concoction that feels like a true comeback.

OUT: On 'Blood Like Lemonade', you only sang on five tracks. This time, you're present on almost every song. Would you say that 'Head Up High' is your real reunion album?

Skye Edwards: You know, by the time I was asked to rejoin the band, Paul and Ross [Godfrey] had already finished half of Blood Like Lemonade. It was a weird process because all three of us lived in different cities, so we communicated a lot via email and people thought “They’re not even talking, so they must still hate each other.” But the most important thing is that we communicated. We managed to listen to each other, and finished the album. For Head Up High, we started the project together, and there was much more harmony between us. The sound of the album is generally more upbeat, more radio-friendly than what we’ve done in a while.

Why did Morcheeba break up?

After spending so much time together recording, touring, and promoting our records, we just started to hate each other. Paul and Ross were tired of touring. They didn’t like going on TV shows, so I would go on my own on behalf of the band. I was in the limelight, representing something that they had created, and I think that it became difficult for them to see that people were associating Morcheeba with only me. People actually started calling me “Morcheeba." At some point, Paul said “I want a break, I want to stop Morcheeba for a year,” and I found myself wondering what I had done wrong, and what I was going to do with myself.

Did your solo career help you get over the breakup?

In some way, it did. I was happy being the voice of Morcheeba and I didn't feel the need to do my own thing, but when the band broke up, I felt like had to bounce back. I didn’t write lyrics for Morcheeba, so I began writing my own songs. It was satisfying to work with people who listened to me, offered ideas to improve the music. I’ve released three solo albums, and I hope to keep working on my own projects.

What brought Morcheeba back together?

I randomly bumped into Ross on the street in London, and we caught up a little bit. After that, our manager invited me to the studio. I was actually offered to record a song on the album Dive Deep, one that Judie Tzuke ended up singing. At this point, I was terrified to be in the band again, it was like a punch in the stomach to even think about being in the same room as Paul and Ross, because I was convinced that they still hated me. When I saw them again, my first instinct was to run in the other direction. But our manager invited me for lunch, and after a tall beer, he asked if I wanted to rejoin the band. My first instinct was to say “No. Absolutely not,” but my husband convinced me -- after a lot of arguing-- that I should do it, that it would please the fans.

Has your relationship with your bandmates improved?

Yes. We have a great working relationship. When we’re in tour, we’re like family. When I rejoined the band, my only condition was to have my husband play bass for Morcheeba, so they hired him and he’s been there to support me on tour. He’s my best friend. And when we’re off the road, each of us go back to our family lives without interference.