Bambi Lee Savage has been one of the music industry’s best-kept secrets for nearly three decades. A Florida native, she played with a string of underground punk bands during the ‘80s before moving to Berlin, where she worked as an audio engineer on landmark albums like U2’s Achtung Baby and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ The Good Son.
Savage’s newest album, Darkness Overshadowed, finds her working with Mick Harvey, former member of the Bad Seeds and producer of PJ Harvey’s award-winning Let England Shake. Together, the two create a moody, nocturnal kind of Americana. Songs like “Nearly Gone” sound like the soundtrack for a late-night drive across an empty landscape, with nothing but your own haunted thoughts to keep you company.
“‘Nearly Gone’ began ages ago as a string-bendy guitar riff and a counter-point guitar part,” Savage explains, “and sat around for a few more years as an unfinished favorite until I finally added lyrics. Then it languished in my archive of songs until I had a chance to work with Mick Harvey again in Melbourne. I brought a demo of the song and we reviewed my vocals, guitar parts, and that single low-note synth part to decide what to keep and what needed re-recording. That synth part ended up getting rather featured, and referred to (not without humor) as ‘the sound of broken dreams!’ In the end, we decided to keep a good deal of the demo tracks, including the string-bendy part, but Mick re-recorded the other guitars and then added bass and drums and, voilà!”