Recorded by the band at their own facility within Salfordâ€™s Blueprint Studios, The Elbow Room, and produced by keyboard player, Craig Potter, the album is the follow up to 2005â€™s universally acclaimed â€˜Leaders Of The Free Worldâ€™.
The album also sees the band start a new relationship with Fiction Records.
The lyrical core of â€˜The Seldom Seen Kidâ€™ sees Guy Garvey address the key questions of life. Thus, over the 11 tracks the big themes of love and loss become the central focus of an album that sees Elbow, a band universally recognised for their musical ability and innovation, stretch their sonic template further than ever before.
With band members now fathers of young children this is an unashamedly grown up record from a band that can rightfully claim status as elder statesmen of the UK music scene. In a climate where the track could be regarded as king this is also very much an album, designed and envisaged to be listened to as a whole.
Elbowâ€™s progress to this point has been less than smooth, the band being together since 1991 and, as has been documented, suffering a false start to their career before a succession of rapturously received independent EPâ€™s in the form of â€˜Noiseboxâ€™, â€˜Newbornâ€™ and â€˜Any Day Nowâ€™ led to the release of debut album â€˜Asleep In The Backâ€™ (and subsequent Mercury and Brit nominations) in 2001. A band keen to consistently challenge their listeners both lyrically and musically, Elbowâ€™s progress from that point has seen them switch genres and accommodate overtly political and emotionally bare lyricism across their formidable back catalogue.
â€˜The Seldom Seen Kidâ€™ continues in that tradition. So we move from the sparse electronic of â€˜Starlingsâ€™ through the flamenco influenced â€˜The Bones Of Youâ€™ to the Zepellinesque rock of first single â€˜Grounds For Divorce where Garveyâ€™s gallows humour shines in the opening couplet of â€˜Iâ€™ve been working on a cocktail / Called grounds for divorceâ€™. Album centrepiece, â€˜The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driverâ€™ melds Elbowâ€™s musical ability to create epic heartfelt soundtracks with Guyâ€™s knack of making the personal universal, telling the story of a boastful tower crane operator revealing the inner misery of his life in a discussion of the hollow centre of many outwardly successful lives.
Elbowâ€™s ability to deliver a knock out ballad is, as with previous albums, very much in evidence on the gorgeous â€˜Mirrorballâ€™ and the sunny cousin to â€˜Asleep In The Backâ€™s â€˜Any Day Nowâ€™ that is â€˜One Day Like Thisâ€™. â€˜The Fixâ€™ denotes a substantial change of mood, being the first duet on an Elbow album, Richard Hawley joining Guy for a Bacharach like story of two hustlers planning their rosy future. â€˜Friend Of Oursâ€™ closes the album in a tribute to the â€˜Seldom Seen Kidâ€™ of the title, Bryan Glancy, Manchester songwriter and sadly missed friend of Elbow who died in 2007 with a delicacy and honesty that is a consistent hallmark of the band.
â€˜The Seldom Seen Kidâ€™ is released by Fiction Records now.
ELBOW PLAY MANDELA HALL BELFAST ON 22 APRIL
Tickets are Â£15.00 + variable booking fees, and are available at Queens Univ Student Union and online from