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EMPTY WORDS

Having taken a break in 2010 (the previous fifteen years seeing them turn from raucous cult curiosity to chart bothering national treasures) Friendship and the bind of their creativity brought Idlewild back together for 2015’s Everything Ever Written. With it, came critical praise, an album in the top 20, and the band selling out venues as large as they ever had. With new members Luciano Rossi and Andrew Mitchell on board, Roddy Woomble, guitarist Rod Jones and drummer Colin Newton felt a renewed sense of purpose. So much so that the week that Everything Ever Written was released, they were already back at the drawing board to start work on what would become the bold step sidewards, forthcoming album Interview Music.

Inspired, they later decamped at the end at the end of a US tour in 2016 to Los Angeles to flesh out their ideas, but it would be some years before they set themselves up at Jones’ own Edinburgh studio to finish the record. “A lot of the songs are about dreams and dreaming and the thoughts and ideas that come from this state,” says Woomble. I live in the Scottish Highlands, and between there and California you’ve got two locations that can put you in a dream like state – driving down Sunset Boulevard as the sun sets or driving over the remote Ardnamurchan peninsula as the sun rises. The world seems unreal, magical. You’re dreaming through a landscape.”

Before finishing the album, the band performed a run of shows to celebrate the anniversary for their seminal record The Remote Part. One of those shows would see them meet up once again with the producer of that record and 100 Broken Windows, Dave Eringa, who would provide Idlewild with the grounding they needed to finish Interview Music. “Dave produced five songs on the album, but also brought a focus back to the band, and actually made us finish it!” admits Woomble. “He made it sound like us”.

This is no more apparent than on opener ‘Dream Variations’; with its echoing, fever-dream melody, chiming fizzing riff, and vocal harmonies, before taking a surprise left-turn and drifting into a waltz-like trance. Much like the rest of the record, it has the indie-rock DNA of the band, but mutated in new and strange ways. ‘Same Things Twice’ takes the fire of the heavier highlights like ‘A Modern Way Of Letting Go’ or ‘Little Discourage’, but carries it with a more mature grace. Then ‘I Almost Didn’t Notice’ and ‘Mount Analogue’ make for record’s centre-pieces as playful, adventurous and strange – driven by abandon but still loyal to all that you want from Idlewild; not least for Woomble’s lyrics. Here you’ll find another tapestry of riddles written to “celebrate vagueness”. “What’s really important about Idlewild is that we are basically punk rock kids,” concludes Woomble. “No one ever taught us how to play anything. We formed a band and we learned. In our own way. We were inspired by the bands we saw just getting up on stage, making a noise and exchanging ideas, and trying to change your ideas. That’s principally what the band still do. I’m not a kid rolling around screaming into a microphone on the floor anymore, but that ideal is still at our core.”

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Idlewild have managed to maintain their off-kilter syncopated indie-rock atmospheres from the early days of their popularity, but imbue it with a sense of maturity and restraint, turning those magnificently written rhythmic counterpoints into a smoothly segued, but completely essential part of their sound. Brimming with texture and perfectly measured, 'Interview Music' is a perfect example of how a band can continue their legacy without becoming staid.

TRACK LISTING

1. Dream Variations
2. There's A Place For Everything
3. Interview Music
4. All These Words
5. You Wear It Secondhand
6. Same Things Twice
7. I Almost Didn't Notice
8. Miracles
9. Mount Analogue
10. Forever New
11. Bad Logic
12. Familiar To Ignore
13. Lake Martinez

After five years away, Scottish alternative rock band Idlewild return with new album Everything Ever Written. The band’s eighth studio recording represents a new chapter, both personally and creatively - featuring twelve tracks of alternative rock woven together from strands of Scottish folk, Americana & Hebridean psychedelia.

Produced by the band’s guitarist Rod Jones and mixed by John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) whom they collaborated with on their 2002 release The Remote Part and augmented by new members Luciano Rossi (piano, organ & vocals) and Andrew Mitchell (bass, guitar & vocals), Everything Ever Written is Idlewild’s most eclectic output to date.

“The album was predominantly written on the Isle of Mull”, vocalist Roddy Woomble explains. "The record soundtracks a period of transition. Working without time constraints gave the whole thing a creative freedom. Idlewild is a new band to me now; I’m excited for the future.”

In October 2014 the group completed a sold out acoustic tour of unique, intimate venues throughout the Highlands & Islands of Scotland, re-introducing themselves to live audiences after a half-decade break, performing re-worked versions of old songs as well as songs from the new album. The still, idyllic settings chosen for the performances hint towards the sense of space afforded in writing and recording the new album.

TRACK LISTING

1: Collect Yourself
2: Come On Ghost
3: So Many Things To Decide
4: Nothing I Can Do About It
5: Every Little Means Trust
6: (Use It) If You Can Use It
7: Like A Clown
8: On Another Planet
9: All Things Different
10: Radium Girl
11: Left Like Roses
12: Utopia


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