Conventions change with the times. This is especially true for music: before the Corona crisis, the motto "the more insignificant, the more compatible with the masses" seemed to have prevailed. 18 months later, most songwriters have piled up so much that they now want to make themselves heard with content. In doing so, two camps can be distinguished: Some need to shake off the lethargy of stagnation first, while others embrace the new post-Covid lifestyle - not least in the quiet fear that it might be short-lived. Among the latter is the band Elbow. Their new album, Flight Dream 1, is a passionate declaration of the beauty of life
The new normal
It is not their intention to speak for anyone but themselves, assures singer and lyricist Guy Garvey. The new album is a product of the times that everyone but the band has had to go through. Emotion has always been a big part of Elbow, but on "Flight Dream 1" the band reaches a new level of emotionality. "We all came from very different situations," Garvey recalls. "We were actually supposed to be promoting our last record, which is a lot louder and angrier. We were touring the U.S. and Mexico when the shutdown hit the world. On YouTube, we put out some videos. People could request different songs, and the more subtle, mellow songs definitely came out on top. We also found that mood fitting, so we decided to capture that zeitgeist and write new songs in that atmosphere. We wanted to bring something positive to the situation. We were stuck in a completely new normal that no one could deal with at first. We had to react to that."
They also had to deal with special challenges in their daily lives: In addition to homeschooling the kids, Garvey had to care for his mother-in-law, the well-known actress Diana Rigg, who died of cancer in his home. Only deep in the night did he find time to work on music for the new album. "When my family was asleep, I'd sneak out the back door, crack open a bottle of whiskey and a pack of cigarettes, and listen to what the others had sent. And this was incredible: they all reflected accurately what was happening during that time. I've known them for 30 years, but in their songs they revealed to me how they were currently feeling. So it became a very romantic and nostalgic story."