A new Sade album is reportedly in the works for the first time in over a decade. The news broke Monday (October 10), not via the Nigerian-born, Essex-bred soul superstar or her band, but in a Billboard cover interview with Brad Pitt and French producer Damien Quintard on their reopening and renovation of the historic Miraval Studios. Sade had already been announced as a slated future resident of the room, but Pitt and Quintard have now confirmed that — less than a year after the rebuild was announced — recording is already underway, and that Sade and her backing band are the space’s first official guests.
The group’s current project is, according to a press release announcing the Miraval cover story, a follow-up to Sade’s last LP, 2010’s Soldier of Love, though neither Pitt nor Quintard directly states in the article that the band is working on an album. Their most recent releases are two 2018 singles, “Flower of the Universe” and “The Big Unknown,” written for the soundtracks of A Wrinkle In Time and Windows, respectively. That same year, Sade’s saxophonist and guitarist Stuart Matthewman told Rated R&B that the band had a new record in the works, but it never materialized.
Miraval Studios, located on Château Miraval — a vineyard in the south of France, about 50 miles east by northeast of Marseilles — was established in 1977 by jazz pianist Jacques Loussier and has hosted legendary recording sessions, including those for Pink Floyd’s The Wall, The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, The Cranberries’ Bury The Hatchet, and AC/DC’s Blow Up Your Video, as well as two precious Sade albums: Promise and Stronger Than Pride. “You could feel the love that she and the band had for this place,” Quintard told Billboard, discussing Sade’s return.
Pitt and his ex-wife Angelina Jolie bought Château Miraval in 2012. The property has been a contested asset in the lengthy legal battle following the former couple’s divorce. Last week, The New York Times reported on a countersuit brought by Jolie accusing Pitt of physically and emotionally abusing their children on a private plane in 2016.