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Isobel Campbell: After Belle Comes 'Ballad'

Isobel Campbell, with Mark Lanegan in the background.
Isobel Campbell, with Mark Lanegan in the background.

Take a few simple chords, stir in a cello solo or two, add some percussion instruments reminiscent of a old western film score and top them off with two voices -- one made rough by experience, the other softened by its youth.

Now you have the sound recipe for Isobel Campbell's new CD with Mark Lanegan, Ballad of the Broken Seas.

They are an odd couple. Campbell is a cellist and the angelic vocalist formerly of the Scottish indie pop band Belle and Sebastian. The deep-gravel howl belongs to Lanegan, the former frontman of the Seattle grunge band Screaming Trees.

After splitting up with Belle and Sebastian in the spring of 2002, Campbell decided to try her luck as a single act. The Glasgow native is in the United States this month for her first solo tour, and Liane Hansen caught up with her.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.