Ever since they first arrived more than twenty years ago, Elbow have been a consistently brilliant outfit working the scene. With a Mercury Music Prize under their belt for their groundbreaking 2008 LP 'The Seldom Seen Kid', and numerous Ivor Novello Awards for their stunning songwriting throughout the years, the band took the pandemic as an opportunity to become more reflective about their work to date, and more importantly, where they plan to take it. So after writing the songs remotely before coming together at the empty Brighton Theatre Royal to record them, they deliver their ninth studio album 'Flying Dream 1', a record that sees them venture into a more ambient territory.
While the group have always been one to pursue warm and atmospheric compositions throughout their career, they are usually broken up with bolder and more intense moments that show off their flair for the grand and spectacular. But for 'Flying Dream 1', a decision was made early on to keep this release as minimal as possible, leaning hard into their more ethereal works throughout. The result is this wonderfully slow-burning listen that sees frontman Guy Garvey serenade us over a light and airy layer of production, an aesthetic that he has become very comfortable in over the years.
It may spell the beginning of a new Elbow as they enter their third decade as a group, but with music this elegant and progressive, it is hard not to get swept up with it. A strong and confident return that shows us all they are far from burning out just yet.