High drama and high camp: Lady Veda and The Late David Turpin on their new track 'Burn Everything'

The latest collaborative track from Lady Veda and The Late David Turpin captures the magic and beauty of a drag show.

A drag queen all in red holding a cigarette lounges on a couch
Image: Steven Piece

Drag artist Lady Veda and queer creative, The Late David Turpin weave together a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere and entrancing lyrics in their new collaborative track, ‘Burn Everything’. 

Originally intended to be released as part of The Late David Turpin’s album, Romances, ‘Burn Everything’ was changed to a single release. And the song stands on its own, carving out a story which instantly captivates listeners. 

The Late David Turpin spoke about his decision to keep ‘Burn Everything’ as a solo track, “Sometimes the identity of a thing reveals itself in the making. Romances ended up being quite a focused piece based around a series of specific ideas and images; and ‘Burn Everything’ felt distinct from that. Everybody knows the album form has completely unraveled these days anyway, and that’s a shame, because I like the album form. But the upshot is that songs can now have a kind of individual life, as strange little islands in their own right. ‘Burn Everything’ is one of those.”

Bursting onto the scene on Good Friday, ‘Burn Everything’ exhibited a confidence in its production, seamlessly shifting between different tones and building effortlessly to a stunning conclusion. Veda announced the release on Twitter, “Enjoy this mega-lavish gloom-ballad, which comes with all the love we can muster in our withered black hearts.”

‘Burn Everything’ pays homage to the essence of drag and queer creativity, bursting with beauty, Veda described the track: “The story of the song is the story of a drag queen having a bonfire or a Viking funeral of sorts. Purging. Cremation. High drama and high camp. but all-in-all I think it’s quite a sweet and simple song. I’m very pleased with how it turned out. The production is sensational. David did a wonderful job.”

Speaking about the inspiration behind this song, The Late David Turpin shared, “I really wanted to do a torch song, because torch music is so much a part of the history of drag, and yet at the moment, recording artists who are also drag artists tend to be associated mainly with house music. House music is great, of course, but I always like to do the contrary thing.”

Turpin further detailed, “When I first started talking about it with Veda, the idea for a kind of ‘funeral’ song emerged, and she gave me some words that I worked around the music. I thought it would be fun for the melody to interpolate ‘Dido’s Lament’ from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Dido being the Queen of Carthage who flung herself alive onto a funeral pyre. There’s something about the grandiosity of that kind of gesture that just says ‘drag show’ to me.”

Veda and Turpin are a powerhouse combination as they find new depths within their combined style. Steven Piece’s beautiful photography adorns the track, encapsulating the tone of the song. 

Describing the creative process, Turpin said, “I always have a really good time working with Veda. I think that’s an underrated value in music-making.  It has to be fun. Even if it’s something very gloomy, or negative, or confrontational – and I’ve done all of those things, in my own way – if you don’t have fun making it, it’s not going to be any good.” 

He went on to highlight, “In terms of the actual recording, this was one of the most complicated productions I’ve done, because there’s a lot of live instrumentation – strings, saxophone, guitar, bass – all of which had to be recorded separately, and then at the very end we had a group of choral singers come in and add that extra ecclesiastical je ne sais quoi.”

You can listen to Lady Veda and The Late David Turpin’s gorgeous track ‘Burn Everything’ here.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.