Elbow unveil sixth album details, announce new UK tour

Frontman Guy Garvey tells NME their sixth album has "big themes" as he hints at Glastonbury appearance

Elbow have announced details of a brand new album and arena tour for April 2014.

The band will release their sixth album on March 3, 2014 with an eight-date arena tour following in April. Although currently untitled, singer Guy Garvey tells NME the album’s working title is ‘All At Once’.

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The release will follow 2011’s album ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’, which was nominated for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize.

Garvey explained the new album’s working title ties in with its main theme, of the five band members approaching their forties. He said: “When you’re 40, you’re all ages at once, because you’re thinking of your youth, which has very definitely passed, and about how you became the person you are. You wonder about how the rest of your life plays out from here.”

Talking about live plans for the album, Garvey hinted at an appearance at next summer’s Glastonbury festival. Garvey – who arranged the strings for Arctic Monkeys’ performance at this year’s Glastonbury – said: “There’s nothing on paper, but I hope we play next year, because it’s the best party on Earth. There’s nothing official yet.”

Recorded at Elbow’s own studio, Blueprint in Manchester, and at Peter Gabriel’s studio, Real World near Bath, Garvey vowed the new album has “some big themes”, adding: “A few of the songs are from the point of view of an older man, with quite paternal advice.”

Sonically, Garvey described the album as “messing with tempos here and there… it’s got some old-school spacerock sensibilities. It’s very celebratory in parts, as you’d expect.” He went on: “Tempo changes in the middle of songs happen less and less often, but it’s a great musical tool. There are more of those from us than normal on this record.”

As with Elbow’s two previous albums, the new record is produced by keyboardist Craig Potter. Garvey said: “We discuss getting an outside producer every now and again, but we don’t want to let go of the feeling that the five of us know what’s going on, but no-one else in the world does until we release it. I think you can feel in our records that they’re the work of old friends who still get a kick out of one another.”

Songs on the new album include ‘Charge’, which was previewed on Elbow’s arena tour last year. Garvey said: “It’s about an old man in a young persons’ bar.” The opening track will be ‘This Blue World’, which Garvey described as “a very delicate way to start an album”, while the theme of ageing is detailed in ‘My Sad Captains’. The singer explained: “It mourns the fact you can’t see all your friends every night like you can when you’re young. It has a line: ‘Another sunrise with my sad captains, with you I choose to lose my mind.'”

Garvey still mainly lives in Bury, but recently bought an apartment in New York. New song ‘New York Morning’ was written about the city. “I’m fascinated by the place,” said Garvey. “It’s been good to write out there, because it gives me focus. I’ve always found that looking through home from a telescope makes it easier to write about.”

Although the album’s release date has been set, Garvey admitted Elbow are still “fixing repairs” to it. He said: “If we had to release what we’ve got now, it’d be an excellent record. But you use all the time you’ve got. If we didn’t have a deadline, we’d never finish an album.”

Tickets for the tour go on sale on Wednesday (October 2), with a pre-sale starting at 9am today (September 30) from the band’s website.

Elbow will play:

Birmingham LG Arena (April 5)
Glasgow The Hydro (6)
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (8)
Manchester Phones 4 U Arena (9)
Leeds First Direct Arena (11)
Liverpool Echo Arena (12)
Nottingham Capital FM Arena (14)
London The O2 (16)

To check the availability of Elbow tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0844 858 6765.