Remote reinvention: how new methods helped Elbow relocate their mojo

Rock band Elbow discuss how they used the process for their ninth studio album to experiment with new recording and songwriting methods.

Usually tracking in either their own studio in the Blueprint complex in Manchester or at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios near Bath, the Manchester-based rock band were never bound by the time constraints usually attached to booking studio time. As a result, the band were afforded the luxury of doing a lot of the songwriting and arranging during these tracking sessions, unperturbed by the race against the clock. This time around, they wanted to try something different.

Inviting the challenges that working in this way would enforce, the quartet hired Brighton’s Theatre Royal as their make-shift studio space. They had two weeks to track 10 songs and capture filmed live performances of each song in the theatre. Knowing they needed to enter the studio with the completed songs, they used FaceTime and the LISTENTO plugin. Exchanging ideas from their homes and crafting the collection of songs that would become ‘Flying Dream 1’.

“They’d be constantly connected over FaceTime and the Audiomovers plugin, trying to make it feel as much as possible like they were all in the same room together.”

The final result is now available to stream on Spotify. Check it out or visit our website for more stories from the Audiomovers community.

Neil Dowd
Author: Neil Dowd