Elbow Asleep In The Back

Manchester's Elbow have waited a decade to release Asleep In The Back, their debut album, but singer Guy Garvey remains optimistic about the band's long haul. "We've been lucky because we know how difficult it is to get into the industry," he admits. Elbow has obviously proved that it wasn't just plain luck that they were nominated for the coveted Mercury Prize, Asleep... is filled with epic lullabies that are soft and delicate but at the same time, very dark and covered in ash. "Because this first album was written about personal experiences, we feel that if you're going to write about something honest, you can't hide the nasty bits and just show the good bits," Guy confesses. "Any Day Now" opens the album with thumping drumbeats complimented by a funereal organ and Garvey's whispering voice. Needless to say, it is a beautifully haunting way to open an album. "Generally I'm not a heavy, broody character. It's just the kind of music that's meant the most to the band is the kind that reassures you when you're at your worst, that you're not the first person to have felt that way." Though the album may initially appear bleak, there are moments when the sun comes out, songs like "Red" and "Newborn" are about love and rebirth, and rarely has a record ended with a more beautiful ballad than "Scattered Black and Whites." The purpose of the album, Garvey makes clear, is to bring the listener at ease. "The reason why we called it Asleep In The Back is because of a childhood memory we all have had of travelling in the back of a car when you were a kid at night with your parents driving. We wanted the album to feel like a comforting environment that explores different avenues we've all been through as a band." (V2)