Caroline Lavelle

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Caroline Lavelle
Genres Pop rock, Alternative, Folk
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Cello, Singing

Caroline Lavelle is a British singer-songwriter and cellist who has created three solo albums and contributed vocals, music, and production help to many other artists and bands.[1]


Lavelle studied at the Royal College of Music in London. Throughout the early to mid-eighties she busked in the city, often outside Kensington Tube Station and Covent Garden, playing baroque music with Anne Stephenson and Virginia Astley (or Virginia Hewes; sources are confused) in a group called Humouresque.

She was spotted by Frankie Gavin, a member of Ireland's De Dannan band, who asked her to join. She was part of the band up to the early nineties, alongside Mary Black and Dolores Keane.

In 1992, she contributed vocals and cello to the track "Home of the Whale" on the Massive Attack EP Hymn of the Big Wheel. Producer William Orbit liked it, contacted her, and eventually produced, and mixed, her debut solo album, Spirit, in 1995. Her version of the song "Moorlough Shore" was used for the introduction to Paul Haggis's critically acclaimed Crime-Drama EZ Streets. This brought her greater notice in the areas of film and television. Also in 1995, she began recording with Canadian world music artist Loreena McKennitt, recording and touring as part of Loreena's band.

A December 1999 article in The Sunday Times reported that it was this album which drew Madonna's attention and initiated the successful collaboration of William Orbit and Madonna.

She produced two further albums, Brilliant Midnight (2001), which, a year later, had three further tracks added in a reissue, and A Distant Bell in (2004).

Her "Home of the Whale" track (with Massive Attack) was featured in the 2000 Ewan McGregor / Ashley Judd film, Eye of the Beholder, and she also contributed her song Anxiety to the soundtrack of the 2001 John Dahl movie Roadkill (Joyride in the US).

She currently lives in the south of England and is working on her fourth album. She is also in tour with Loreena McKennitt for her Ancient Muse tour. In early 2013, Lavelle began work on a new collaborative project with singer/songwriter Andrew Bate. The resulting record is due later in the year


Artist Album Year Contribution Song
Art of Trance Voice of Earth 1999 vocals & lyrics "Breathe"
Afro Celt Sound System Sound Magic Volume 1 1995 cello, vocals & giggling Jam Nation's "She Moved Through the Fair"
BT Emotional Technology 2003 cello & vocals "The Great Escape"
Chicane Far from the Maddening Crowds 1997 vocals & co-writing "Lost You Somewhere"
De Dannan Ballroom 1993 cello, vocals, arrangements ALL
Mary Black No Frontiers 1989 cello
Electric Strings quartet with
The Pogues
Pogue Mahone 1996 cello "Anniversary"
"Love You 'Til The End"
"Pont Mirabeau"
Hector Zazou Lights in the Dark
Strong Currents
vocals & lyrics
vocals & lyrics
"The Freeze"
"Lies Will Flow"
Loreena McKennitt A Winter Garden
The Book of Secrets
Live Paris & Toronto
An Ancient Muse
Nights from the Alhambra

A Midwinter Night's Dream
A Mediterranean Odyssey
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Troubadours on the Rhine
The Journey So Far + A Midsummer Night's Tour
cello & backing vocals
ALL, except Tracks 1, 3
ALL, except 1, 3, 4, 6, 7
ALL, except Tracks 1, 4
ALL, except Tracks 5, 6, 11
ALL, except CD1 Track 4 and CD2 Tracks 1, 2, 6, 7, 9
ALL, except 9
ALL, except CD1 Track 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11
Massive Attack Hymn of the Big Wheel EP 1992 vocals & cello "Home of the Whale"
Muse Origin of Symmetry 2001 cello "Megalomania"
"Citizen Erased"
Nigel Kennedy Kafka 1996 vocals & co-writing "Breathing Stone"
Peter Gabriel Us 1992 cello 2, 6, 10
Radiohead The Bends 1995 cello "Fake Plastic Trees"
"Nice Dream"
Sleepthief The Dawnseeker
Labyrinthine Heart
vocals & writing "Nightjar"
"Rainy World"
Tarja Turunen Colours in the Dark 2013 cello "Deliverance"
"Until Silence"
The Chieftains Further Down the Old Plank Road 2003 cello ALL
Vangelis Voices 1995 vocals & lyrics "Come to Me"
Thomas Dolby Forty 2001 Cello & Background vocals "I Love You Goodbye", "My Brain Is Like A Sieve", "Hyperactive!"

She has also worked with Laurie Anderson, The Waterboys, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Graham Parker, The Cranberries, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Art of Trance has remixed some of her songs.



  • Spirit (1995)
  1. Turning Ground
  2. Moorlough Shore
  3. Dream of Picasso
  4. Forget The Few
  5. Lagan Love
  6. A Case of You
  7. Waiting For Rain
  8. Desire
  9. The Island
  10. Sleep Now
  11. Sheherezade
  • Brilliant Midnight (2001)
  1. Farther Than The Sun
  2. Anxiety
  3. Anima Rising
  4. She Said
  5. All I Have
  6. The Fall
  7. Siamant'o
  8. Karma
  9. Mangoes
  10. Le Pourquoi
  11. Firefly Night
  12. Universal
  13. Twisted Ends
  • Brilliant Midnight 2.0 (2002)

(As above, but with 3 extra tracks):

  1. Lost Voices
  2. Home of the Whale
  3. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
  • A Distant Bell (2004)
  1. Gently Johnny
  2. So Uncool
  3. Innocence Sleeping
  4. Banks of the Nile
  5. Simple Lyric
  6. No More Words
  7. Too Late
  8. The Trees They Do Grow High
  9. Greenwood Laddie
  10. Timeless
  11. Handful of Ashes
  12. Farewell to Music (w. Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains)
  13. Gently Johnny (Extended Version)


Moorlough Shore
N-Gram Recordings (1995)

  1. LP mix – 4.20
  2. Eye of the storm mix – 5.39
  3. Thermionic resonance mix, 90 BMP, vocal – 5.30
  4. Thermionic resonance mix, 97 BMP, dub – 5.22
  5. Thermionic resonance mix, 90 BMP, dub – 5.47
  6. Thermionic resonance mix, 107 BMP, dub – 5.45

A Case of You
N-Gram Recordings (1995)

  1. A case of you (single mix) – 4.30
  2. Dream of picasso (monka monka mix) – 6.53
  3. A case of you (psovi psovi mix) – 4.31


  1. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Biography: Caroline Lavelle". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 

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