After having to postpone their live tour dates, Morcheeba will finally be able to celebrate the release of their latest studio album ‘Blackest Blue’.
The ‘Blackest Blue’ UK tour, a celebration of 25 years of Morcheeba, will see the band headlining Birmingham’s O2 Academy 2 on Wednesday 4th May 2022, Manchester’s Academy 2 on Thursday 5th May, London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Saturday 7th May and Brighton’s Chalk on Wednesday 11th May. Tickets are on sale now and available from www.gigsandtours.com / www.morcheeba.uk.
In March 2020, Skye Edwards and Ross Godfrey were nearing the end of another long tour – they can go two years without visiting the same country twice – and the diary suddenly emptied. Tourbus parked, they began writing what became their tenth album Blackest Blue. By December 2020, they’d finished 10 lustrous new songs touching on disintegrating familial and romantic relationships, love and kinship, the world around and the consolations of cannabis. On tour, Morcheeba is Skye (vocals), Ross (guitar), Dom Pipkin (keys), Skye’s husband Steve Gordon (bass) and Skye’s eldest son Jaega Mckenna-Gordon (drums). In the studio it’s mostly just Skye and Ross – he plays guitar, bass, organ, synths, drums and percussion. “There weren’t so many pressures so we could really take our time getting the songs right,” says Edwards. “Morcheeba albums are only finished when I’ve gone completely insane,” Ross humorously adds.
The result of this time is a refined collection that fuses previous incarnations and sound of the band – such as downbeat, chill, electro-pop & soul – into one cohesive record that delves into the soul of the band’s genre-mashing musical heritage. As usual, the band didn’t approach the album with any pre-conceptions, and instead created an organic journey that represents everything great about Morcheeba.
Edwards’ lyrics are primarily focused on positivity and overcoming personal adversity that lies within. ‘Sounds Of Blue’, is a stunning cut that puts Skye Edward’s sultry vocals to the forefront, floating high above an ethereal backdrop. The duo let go, writing and playing what they felt like. Speaking about lead single ‘Sounds of Blue’, “I had a poem I’d written about my free diving experience in Thailand,” Skye says. “Oh Oh Yeah” is a song about getting stoned. Back in the day we didn’t think about the A&R guy, the single, the ‘we need to hear the chorus in 30 seconds’. You’d have seven, eight-minute songs. So we went for it.”
The title ‘Blackest Blue’ comes from a lyric in the album track The Moon. Originally by Irena Žilić, a Croatian singer-songwriter, Ross fell in love with the song when they shared a bill in Zagreb with Irena and asked her permission to cover it. Skye added another verse to it and it’s there Blackest Blue was born.
Perhaps Skye’s gloriously unruffled vocal tone means some people don’t catch the darkness in lyrics like “Put your knife away, I’ve already cut my heart out” on the album opener or the despairing “Ain’t gonna lie / Feel like I wanna die” from ‘Killed Our Love’. There’s plenty of hurt that walks with hope when Skye sings.
The album includes features with Duke Garwood (known for his work with Mark Lanegan, amongst others) on closing track ‘The Edge of The World’ and Brad Barr (The Slip, The Barr Brothers). “I managed to get hold of him on the phone and asked him to be on our album,” says Godfrey on how they came to collaborate with Barr. “I sent him a rough piano demo I had played and he sent back the bones of ‘Say it’s Over’. Skye completed the melody and a lyric and we had a stone cold break up song on our hands. It is a real stand out track for me, heavy as a ton.”
Morcheeba’s global reach is impressive, taking them to every corner of the world . Their signature chilled electronic/organic sound has been border-hopping ever since the London-based band emerged as a household name. The past year has been one of introspection for the duo, as they took stock of their renewed global fan base by playing UK and European festivals over the summer ahead of their own headline tour in 2022, which will see the band playing Birmingham’s O2 Academy 2 on Wednesday 4th May Manchester’s Gorilla on Thursday 5th May, London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Saturday 7th May 9th and Brighton’s Chalk on Wednesday 11th May. Tickets are on sale now and available from www.gigsandtours.com / www.morcheeba.uk.
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