FOLLOWING his last album, 2018’s Beyond The End, dashing singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt has announced his ninth studio album, which is due in mid-September, will also be a set free of vocals – and a counterpoint to his previous.
Monochrome To Colour will also be big, cinematic, and evocative, but Ed promises that this one will serve to bring a light to the melancholia of Beyond The End.
“The new album is much more of an escapist record than Beyond The End,” he says. “[It] opens its arms to the world.”
The first taster we have is released now: the broad sweep of “Drowning in Dreams”. A bellows instrument pulse is interjected by a metronomic, electronic wah; pianos cascade and strings counterpoint the melody. There’s a pause and woodwind brings new melodic flavours. It’s lovely and it’s leftfield and fine.
The song comes accompanied by a short film made in cahoots with friend, photographer and film-maker Steve Gullick. The pair reportedly found themselves in a remote cabin in Iceland, with little sustenance beyond whiskey, and shot some hypnotic footage. Who is the bear? What story do we infer against Ed’s melodic subtlety? We’ll each make our own story. Have a watch, below.
It’s all very promising for the new LP, of which Ed says: “[It] definitely has a sense of explosion and euphoria in places. A massive thing for me is melody. I grew up playing Mozart and Beethoven and that has stuck with me. Melody is the central thing.”
Also expect the eclectic array of instrumentation indicated by “Drowning in Dreams”, including judicious employ of the dulcitone, a 19th-century oddity in which hammers strike an array of tuning forks.
“Broken old instruments mixed with modern software,” sums up Ed.
Ed Harcourt’s Monochrome To Colour will be released on Friday, September 18; pre-order your copy here.