Artist News Releases

Elbow to release album recorded in closed theatre during lockdown

By | Published on Thursday 2 September 2021


Elbow have announced that they will release their ninth studio album, ‘Flying Dream 1’, in November. Written remotely during lockdown, the band hired Brighton’s Theatre Royal to record the album, while the venue was otherwise in shutdown.

“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”, says vocalist Guy Garvey. “[It was] nice to turn it on its head in that way. 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 creation of the album began, he says, after the members of the band started sending “little love notes” to each other, that were developed into songs over a period of months.

“We realised we were making a record free of the usual creative guidelines”, he goes on. “We love patient, quiet, whole albums like the last Talk Talk records, John Martyns ‘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'”.

“We’ve always written songs like this, but it felt natural to make an album that focuses on the gentler side of our music”, he continues. “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”.

Writing the songs also became a way to update each other on how they were doing in lockdown, he says: “We don’t phone each other for a chat. We don’t talk about life outside the music until we’re together. These hushed night-time missives told us how each other were doing. When we finally got together, all that was to do was record the songs, honour them with amazing additional singers and players in a gorgeous space and catch up. It was beautiful”.

The album will be out on 19 Nov. Here’s a short video going behind the scenes of its creation: