Elbow Share New Song “Empires” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Elbow Share New Song “Empires”

Giants of All Sizes Due Out October 11 via Polydor/Verve Label Group

Aug 21, 2019
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Elbow are releasing a new album, Giants of All Sizes, on October 11 via Polydor/Verve Label Group. Now the British band have shared another song from it, "Empires." "Baby, empires crumble all the time/Pay no mind/You just happened to witness mine," sings frontman Guy Garvey, perhaps referring to the British Empire and Brexit or something more personal. Listen below.

Giants of All Sizes includes "Dexter & Sinister," a 7-minute long new song the band shared just prior to the announcement of the album (the song features backing vocals from Jesca Hoop and was one of our Songs of the Week).

The band's keyboardist Craig Potter produced and mixed the album, as he did with the band's last four albums. Giants of All Sizes was recorded at Hamburg, Germany's Clouds Hill Studio; The Dairy in Brixton, England; 604 Studios in Vancouver, Canada; and Blueprint Studios in Salford, England. Parts were also recorded at various band member's home studios in Manchester, England. As well as Hoop, the album also features The Plumedores and Chilli Chilton (described in a press release as "a South London newcomer").

Potter had this to say about "Empires" in a press release: "We thought the studio would give us inner city vibes but we were on the edge of Hamburg which meant we spent more time in Clouds Hill rather than exploring. With time to spare, we sat around and played together in a way we haven't for a long time and experimented and improvised with the music which led to the looser feel you hear on 'Empires.'"

Giants of All Sizes seems to find the band in a looser, more experimental mode, with much of it recorded live in the studio, band members encouraged to spend more time cultivating their original demos rather than compromising, and Elbow perhaps embracing new influences. For example, the press release says "Doldrums" "mixes John Carpenter with The Plastic Ono Band" and "The Delayed 3:15" "marries mariachi guitars to jazz dynamics, Morricone via Buddy Rich."

In a previous press release lead singer and lyricist Guy Garvey described the album as "an angry, old blue lament which finds its salvation in family, friends, the band, and new life." 

The previous press release added that Giants of All Sizes "is a record that lyrically takes in moments of deep personal loss whilst reflecting its times by confronting head-on the specters of injustice and division not just in the UK but across the world. It is a record that could only have been made in the 21st Century."

Potter had this to say about "Dexter & Sinister" in a previous press release: "We haven't sat around and played like that in a long time. The looseness in the track definitely comes from us playing live in the room and, on the second part, we decided not to play to a click to really allow the tune to breathe."

The previous press release said "the track takes its title from heraldry where Dexter (Right) and Sinister (Left) represent the two sides of an escutcheon bearing a coat of arms."

In the previous press release Garvey said "Dexter & Sinister" is "a great, big, bewildered question dealing with my feelings on Brexit, the loss of family and friends and the general sense of disaffection you see all around at the moment."

Elbow's last album, their seventh, Little Fictions, was released in 2017, the same year they released a best of compilation, fittingly titled The Best Of.

Read our interview with Elbow's Guy Garvey on Little Fictions.

Also read our 2014 print article on Elbow and our 2014 web-exclusive interview with Garvey on his favorite cities. Plus read our 2016 The End interview with Garvey on endings and death.

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Virginia
August 31st 2019
7:58pm

As much as I’d love to see Elbow again, please don’t come play in the states - it’s just too dangerous here.  Sadly, maybe that means that they win, but this is no joke.  There are too many guns and too much misguided anger here.  xxx