Release Date: Oct 11, 2019
Record label: Polydor
"Loss is a part of a life this long" sings Elbow frontman Guy Garvey on "Dexter & Sinister," the sanguine opening cut on the venerable post-Brit-pop group's eighth full-length effort Giants of All Sizes. The follow-up to 2017's relatively buoyant and unsurprisingly chart-topping Little Fictions, the nine-track set retains the hard-won wisdom of its predecessor, but there's a strong current of unease running through the proceedings. Awash in the damp grays and socio-political malaise of the Brexit era, Garvey and company deftly navigate the brackish waters with an amalgam of empathy and steely acceptance.
Elbow's eighth album comes wreathed in a ghostly pallor. Recorded over two years in which too many of the band's friends and family passed away, the easy sentimentality of their biggest songs has been abandoned for something grittier, angrier and greyer. Giants of All Sizes is not an album to be filleted and squashed into playlists; it's the sort of deeply serious and carefully crafted work that would sprout a beard and a cable-knit jumper if you turned your back on it for a second.