Whichever studio Noel Gallagher is recording the third High Flying Birds album in, we can only assume that it was recently vacated by Kanye West, and that Yeezy left a large shipment of self-aggrandisement behind that Noel has been liberally partaking of.
“I remain fucking totally awesome,” he told Rolling Stone this week. “In 2016, I’m as awesome as I was in the back end of 2015. My hair is impeccable; it’s not showing any signs of thinning, at all. I’m fuckin’ thriving. Thriving!”
He even went as far as to challenge Kanye head-on, posting an Instagram picture of the recording with the caption “So Kanye thinks he’s made the best album of all time? You might sell more Mr.Kanye but NGHFB will be better..FACT!”
Lush of scalp and high on rock, it appears Noel is out to emulate Bowie on this record. Not merely in going all-out to make an album that will baffle the gun-snogging, Trump-loving heartlands of America a la ‘Low’ and lose him his last remaining Stateside fans – “I’m doing some stuff that, this time in particular, will get really, properly ignored in America,” he said. “That’s what I’m aiming for: total, total anonymity. I’m sick and tired of being in New York and being pestered by one person a month. That’s gotta fucking stop” – but by nicking his old tunes. Noel has form in this department, having previously nobbled three or four tunes out of ‘All The Young Dudes’ alone, but this time he’s gunning for ‘The Jean Genie’. “I’ve nicked a little bit of that. The ‘woo-hoo!’. You’ll hear that sooner or later in one of my tracks.”
If he’s unrepentant in his mission to be the Burke and Hare of rock’n’roll, it’s purely from the best of intentions. The High Flying Birds albums have seen Noel flourishing again as sole songwriter, exploring new avenues and really testing himself for the first time in decades. Hopefully the Bowie influence he’s most embracing is that of experimentation spurred on, perhaps, by a sonik kick up the arse from his old mucker Weller’s brilliantly innovative recent albums.
He’s certainly promising a stylistic swerve or two from his current studio “fucking about”. “From what I’ve done at the moment, sonically it sounds different, but it will still be very melodic and all that,” he told Rolling Stone. “It’s a new way of working for me, and I’m finding it very difficult, or very slow. So it’s like writing and recording as you go along, so there’s no sitting down writing all the songs and then going to record them, you’re kind of doing that in the studio, so that takes a lot longer, but the results at the moment are quite good.”
Keep your hair on, Noel’s flying high.