Elvis Costello has returned with the brand new song ‘No Flag’.
Costello travelled alone to Helsinki in order to record the track on February 16th and he then worked for three days at Suomenlinnan Studio, a recording facility that is a twenty-minute ferry ride from downtown Helsinki.
Asked about why he chose to make the new track in the Finnish capital, Elvis explained in the press release: “I wanted to go somewhere nobody knew me. So, this is ‘The Helsinki Sound.’”
The instrumental credits on the track simply read: “Elvis Costello – Mouth, Drum, Fender Jazzmaster, Hammond Organ and Bass.” ‘No Flag was recorded by Eetu Seppälä who was assisted by Tim Mikkkola in Helsinki whilst Sebastian Krys mixed the track over in Los Angeles.
In April, Costello penned a lengthy poetic letter in tribute to his late friend John Prine in which he wrote: “If John Prine had only written his initial self-titled album, his place among America’s great songwriters would be secure. In addition to ‘Sam Stone’ and ‘Illegal Smile’, one might add ‘Donald & Lydia’, ‘Hello In There’ and ‘Paradise’, unique portraits of awkward lovers, shut-ins, older people or those crushed by the wheel of industry. “
Adding: “These were songs that no one else was writing, filled with details that only Prine’s eye or ear caught; the arcane radio, the damaged and the destitute. The songs were filled with what sounded like sound advice from a friend in a crowded bar or a voice in the margins, but never one that was self-pitying or self-regarding.”