Manchester legends Elbow have returned and have announced the release of a new album entitled Flying Dream 1. The Mercury award-winning band’s ninth studio album is the follow up to 2019’s Giants of All Sizes. Given the pandemic, it was written remotely in between the band members’ home studios in Manchester and London before they reunited at the empty Theatre Royal in Brighton to “perfect, perform, and record” the songs.
Frontman Guy Garvey told the NME: “Hiring a two-hundred-year-old theatre that has never in its history been closed for so long was something that could only be done under the circumstances….nice to turn it on its head in that way.” Of the unique experience, he opined: “Recording in a splendid generous space with no audience was something that throws an anchor in the times that the record was made in.”
The first ideas for the upcoming album germinated after the band’s ‘elbowrooms’ YouTube sessions during the first lockdown of last year. According to Garvey, the band exchanged “little love notes”, that snowballed and became fleshed-out songs.
Garvey continued: “We realised we were making a record free of the usual creative guidelines”. He also explained the album’s subtle feel and the records that inspired it, explaining: “We love patient, quiet, whole albums like the last Talk Talk records. John Martyn’s Sold Air and Bless the Weather, PJ Harvey’s Is This Desire, Chet Baker Sings, the Blue Nile’s Hats, Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love and Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks“.
Adding: “We’ve always written songs like this, but it felt natural to make an album that focuses on the gentler side of our music.” Later, Garvey spoke of the effect the pandemic had on the band, explaining: “There have been challenges, but through them writing together remotely was a lifeline. It’s bruised and wistful, nostalgic, and thankful. We’re so lucky that all our family and friends are safe. It’s about that love”.
Flying Dream 1 is set for release on November 19, and you can pre-order it from the band’s website. Meanwhile, earlier this year, Elbow released a compilation of rare tracks to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their respected debut album Asleep in the Back.
Watch the trailer for ‘Flying Dream 1’, below.