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By Mary Chang
on Friday, 23rd December 2016 at 2:00 pm
Manchester’s alt-rock group Elbow will be releasing their seventh studio album ‘Little Fictions’, which is due for release in the early part of 2017. Described by guitarist Mark Potter as “the song people have been waiting for us to write”, ‘Magnificent (She Says)’ is the first single from ‘Little Fictions’; Carrie reviewed it for us back here. Now ‘Magnificent (She Says)’ has its own music video.
While I have to admit the band’s material hasn’t really spoke to me in recent years, the visuals in the promo are stunning and seem appropriate for this holiday. Filmed in the Asian countryside, the simple life of farmers and their families is celebrated. They don’t have a lot of money or possessions, but what they do have is love and friends in spades. And the hope that the sun will indeed rise the next morning. It’s a reminder that hope is real and we need to keep our faith in it, even during these tough times. Watch the video for ‘Magnificent (She Says)’ below. You can buy ‘Little Fictions’ for your very own on the 3rd of February 2017, when it will be available from Polydor/Concord. To read more on Elbow on TGTF, go here.
Happy holidays to all! We’ll see you back here in the new year.
Manchester alt-rock legends Elbow have returned to the music scene in spectacular fashion with an aptly-titled new single ‘Magnificent (She Says)’. The highly-anticipated new track is our first glimpse of Elbow’s forthcoming seventh studio album ‘Little Fictions’, which is due for release in the early part of 2017.
“This is where the bottle lands,” sings frontman Guy Garvey, laying the groundwork for a lyrical stream of consciousness “where a tiny pair of hands finds a sea-worn piece of glass and sets it as a sapphire in her mind.” Garvey’s freely associated lyrical phrases evoke the gauzy image of a young girl standing on a beach, while his bandmates re-create the swell and expanse of the ocean with a dazzling array of grand musical gestures.
As is often the case, Elbow’s orchestration is rich and vivid, with a bit of a retro feel. Warm, round guitar tones and bright keyboards contrast sharply with the angular drama of the full string section. The rhythm section is notably prominent, keeping a steady and urgent pulse under the breadth of sophisticated harmonies and shifting tone colors.
Talking about the rhythm section inevitably brings us round to the elephant in the room, namely the departure of Elbow’s drummer Richard Jupp earlier this year. Jupp’s deft touch and dynamic sensitivity on the kit arguably helped to define the band’s sound, and the remaining four members (Garvey, guitarist Mark Potter, keyboardist and producer Craig Potter and bass player Pete Turner) haven’t publicly spoken about how they’re dealing with his absence. But they seem to have stood up to the challenge, at least in the context of studio recording, and their customarily strong rhythmic component is certainly felt here.
‘Magnificent (She Says)’ is by turns cordially familiar and crisply refreshing, in classic Elbow fashion. Its lyrics are graceful and poetic, and perfectly paired with the elegant orchestral setting. Despite the rather unwieldy song title, the broad declaration in its eponymous refrain, “It’s all gonna be magnificent, she says / It’s all gonna be magnificent”, might well be seen as an optimistic portent to the remainder of ‘Little Fictions’.
‘Magnificent (She Says)’ is the first single from Elbow’s seventh LP ‘Little Fictions’. The album is due for release on the 3rd of February 2017 via Polydor/Concord. TGTF’s previous coverage of Elbow is right back here.
It feels weird to see a photo of Elbow as a quartet, doesn’t it? But Manchester’s hometown heroes are indeed now down to four in number, and they have announced a full arena tour for the beginning of next year, their first without the services of recently departed drummer Richard Jupp. The massive tour announcement comes in support of Elbow’s forthcoming seventh studio album, whose title is yet to be announced, but which is due for release via Polydor on the 3rd of February next year.
Tickets for the following shows will be available for general sale now. You can find TGTF’s amassed coverage of Elbow right back this way. Our coverage of frontman Guy Garvey’s recent solo project right through here.
Sunday 26th February 2017 – Dublin Olympia Theatre
Monday 27th February 2017 – Dublin Olympia Theatre
Wednesday 1st March 2017 – Birmingham Academy
Thursday 2nd March 2017 – Birmingham Academy
Saturday 4th March 2017 – London Hammersmith Apollo
Sunday 5th March 2017 – London Hammersmith Apollo
Monday 6th March 2017 – London Hammersmith Apollo
Wednesday 8th March 2017 – Bournemouth International Centre
Thursday 9th March 2017 – Plymouth Pavilions
Friday 10th March 2017 – Newport Centre
Sunday 12th March 2017 – Edinburgh Usher Hall
Monday 13th March 2017 – Edinburgh Usher Hall
Tuesday 14th March 2017 – Bridlington Spa
Wednesday 15th March 2017 – Doncaster Dome
Thursday 16th March 2017 – Leicester De Montfort Hall
Saturday 18th March 2017 – Manchester Apollo
Sunday 19th March 2017 – Manchester Apollo
Monday 20th March 2017 – Manchester Apollo
Last month, Manchester favourites Elbow pleased their fans with the release of a new EP called ‘Lost Worker Bee’. The release came as somewhat of a surprise, as the band members have been busy of late with a handful of festival appearances (including Kendal Calling 2015) as well as their own “various solo projects and collaborative endeavours”, which include frontman Guy Garvey’s record label venture Snug Platters and his new BBC 6 Music series ‘Music Box with Guy Garvey’. Of the ‘Lost Worker Bee’ EP, Garvey says “we just felt we really wanted to get something away to tide fans over until the next album. We’ve always loved the EP as a format and we’ve enjoyed making this one so much I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another before long.”
The four brand new songs on the EP are all set in Elbow’s hometown of Manchester. Garvey elaborates, “Manchester’s symbol has been the worker bee for hundreds of years and the lead track is about finding love far away from home.” Our own editor Mary featured the video for the eponymous and altogether charming ‘Lost Worker Bee’ just after the EP’s release.
The rhythmic complexity of ‘And It Snowed’ is a trademark of Elbow’s compositional style, expressed here in an asymmetrical meter that highlights the crystalline keyboard melody. The lyrics are a bit abstract, but the lines “you’ve done your leaving / livid in your splendour and alone / I kiss the stillness” seem to harken back to the lost romance theme of Elbow’s 2014 album ‘The Takeoff and Landing of Everything’, which dealt with Garvey’s split from his longtime partner.
In the captivating ‘Roll Call’, Garvey recycles a lyric, “streets alive with one man shows”, from ‘My Sad Captains’, a popular tune from ‘The Takeoff and Landing of Everything’. He prefaces it with a bit of a wink and nod, warning that “I’m not digging deep tonight”, but in truth, his lyrics are as rife with evocative imagery as ever, and the vocal harmonies supplied by his bandmates in this chorus are just as rich and pleasantly unexpected.
Similarly, the EP’s final track ‘Usually Bright’ feels like an extension of Elbow’s previous album, with simple poetic lines alluding to separation as “the saddest journey ever made”. The spare musical accompaniment, which perhaps coincidentally sounds a bit like an old-fashioned music box, allows Garvey’s poignantly simple lyrics to make their full nostalgic impact, marking a clear delineation between the past and the potential of the future.
Elbow’s ‘Lost Worker Bee’ EP is out now on Polydor. Elbow are scheduled to play the On Blackheath Festival in London on the 12th of September. Our full catalogue of previous Elbow coverage is right back this way.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 27th July 2015 at 6:00 pm
Manchester band Elbow released a new four-track EP last Friday called ‘Lost Worker Bee’, and the title track now has its own promo video. In one of the strangest videos I’ve ever seen, the promo’s protagonist travels around and discovers a series of unique individuals, all of whom have unusual occupations, unusual meaning they don’t sit at a desk in front of a computer. Or they’re just enjoying life. But I think that’s the whole point of the video: life is happening all around us, if you just open your eyes. Watch the video below.
All past coverage on TGTF on Elbow is this way.
Mancunian five-piece Elbow have just announced short residencies in both London and Manchester for the early part of 2015. Explaining the idea behind the shows, frontman Guy Garvey says “We enjoyed our theatre tour of the States and Canada this summer so much that we decided to do some at home. There is something magic about the history of old theatres and doing residencies in these lovely buildings means we can be playful with the staging.” (If you missed it back in May, you can read about one of those North American shows in this previous live review from DC.)
In contrast to Elbow’s usual festival and stadium shows in the UK, these more intimate shows will allow the band to highlight rarely played songs from their back catalogue alongside familiar fan favourites. Tickets for the following sure-to-sell-out appearances go on sale Friday the 5th of September at 9 AM.
Thursday 5th February 2015 – Manchester Apollo
Friday 6th February 2015 – Manchester Apollo
Saturday 7th February 2015 – Manchester Apollo
Tuesday 10th February 2015 – London Hammersmith Apollo
Wednesday 11th February 2015 – London Hammersmith Apollo
Thursday 12th February 2015 – London Hammersmith Apollo