Noel Gallagher has explained how the title of his new album ‘Council Skies’ was inspired by Sheffield artist Pete McKee.
Announced this week, the new album, Gallagher’s fourth studio record with the High Flying Birds, will arrive on June 2 via Sour Mash. You can pre-order/pre-save it here.
Following on from 2017’s ‘Who Built The Moon?’, the full-length project sees Gallagher reclaiming his past and paying homage to his Mancunian roots, according to a statement.
“It’s going back to the beginning. Daydreaming, looking up at the sky and wondering about what life could be … that’s as true to me now as it was in the early ’90s,” Gallagher explained of the upcoming album.
‘Council Skies’ is also the title of a book from McKee, which an Instagram post reveals was the inspiration behind the new album.
McKee’s official page wrote: “Early last year Pete received a phone call from [Noel Gallagher]. After seeing Pete’s book ‘Council Skies’ on his shelf, he asked if he could use its title for his upcoming album. Of course, Pete said yes.”
It added: “Council Sky is a name Pete gave to one of his paints, which he has always done since he started painting almost 20 years ago.”
Speaking to the BBC, McKee said he was “proud as Punch” for the title to be used, saying of the phone call from Gallagher: “He told me that he had written this song that he thought was the best song he had ever written and he was going to call it ‘Council Skies’ and he wanted to call the album ‘Council Skies too’.
“He said he had got the title from my book which was on his bookshelf. It’s just a great honour to have that acknowledged.”
Long heralded as Gallagher’s favourite artist, McKee has worked within the UK music scene for years, with Oasis recruiting him in 2008 to produce collectible posters for their Wembley Stadium gig.
Last year, he produced a book featuring The Cure, Johnny Marr, Blossoms that aims to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust. Artist Pete McKee and Teenage Cancer Trust have co-produced the book that features 19 song lyrics performed on stage for the charity over the past 20 years. It includes handwritten lyrics from artists including Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher, Amy MacDonald, Suede and more.
Others to have worked with McKee in the past include Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, Richard Hawley and more.
‘Council Skies’ was recorded at the singer’s own Lone Star Sound Recording Studios in London, while its string parts were recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studio.
Gallagher has previewed the LP with the psychedelia-inspired single ‘Easy Now’, which is accompanied by a Colin Solal Cardo-directed official video. Milly Alcock (House Of The Dragon) stars in the visuals, while Gallagher makes a cameo appearance.
Produced by Gallagher with long-time collaborator Paul ‘Strangeboy’ Stacey, the album also features performances from Johnny Marr on three tracks, including recent single ‘Pretty Boy’. Additionally, the deluxe edition of ‘Council Skies’ boasts remixes by The Cure frontman Robert Smith (‘Pretty Boy’), Pet Shop Boys (‘Think Of A Number’) as well as various live recordings and instrumentals.