Elbow's Giants of All Sizes: What You Need to Know
After seven critically-acclaimed albums which have seen Elbow win an army of loyal fans and string of accolades including a BRIT award, the Mercury Music Prize and Ivor Novello awards in recognition of their songwriting, this week the band are set to unveil their eighth full-length offering.
Elbow's new album Giants of All Sizes lands on the shelves in-store today, here's everything you need to know...
A little background...
The band's most recent album, 2017's Little Fictions, was their first without founding member and drummer Richard Jupp, who departed the previous year, and also the second of their albums to reach the summit of the UK Album Chart. Since its release, the band have embarked on tours in the UK and the US, as well as recording a cover of The Beatles' 'Golden Slumbers', which was used by retailer John Lewis in their 2017 Christmas advert.
The announcement of the band's eighth studio album came in August this year, along with the release of the album's lead single 'Dexter & Sinister'.
Who's producing it?
The band's keyboardist Craig Potter is leading the way on production, as he has with every album since the band's 2008 Mercury Prize-winning album The Seldom Seen Kid, although there are no doubt contributions from the rest of the band too. The album has been recorded in several studios including Clouds Hill in Hamburg, Studio 604 in Vancouver, The Dairy in Brixton and Blueprint Studios in Salford.
Any special guests?
Not this time. Elbow aren't usually the type of band to pack their records with guest stars and while Little Fictions did feature an appearance from John Grant, this time its back to being just the band themselves on the new record.
What does it sound like?
Whether it was down to the departure of Richard Jupp or some other factor entirely, Little Fictions presented a somewhat softer, more orchestral sound than on some of their earlier, more guitar-heavy records, but on Giants of All Sizes it's apparent from the outset that the new album heads very much in the opposite direction.
Opening salvo 'Dexter & Sinister' is a perfect case in point, briefly lulling the listener into a false sense of security with soft, twinkling piano before the grinding, fuzzed-up riff that propels the song kicks into action. The orchestral elements are still present in places, but on tracks such as 'White Noise White Heat' the strings that provided such grandeur on albums like Seldom Seen Kid and Little Fictions are retooled into something much more muscular and menacing.
Does it deliver?
While Giants of All Sizes is by no means a complete reinvention, there was clearly an ambition to something very different to their last outing and there are hints of experimentation here and there which point towards entering new sonic territory altogether. Guy Garvey's lyrics, though sometimes cryptic, remain as poignant and evocative as ever, and fans will be pleased to know that even in the album's more grungey moments, the band's knack for an anthemic melody hasn't deserted them.