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Erland & The Carnival

Closing Time

When unassuming young Orkney music-maker Erland Cooper picked up his guitar and travelled the length of the country to play a show in London’s Notting Hill, little did he know that a chance encounter with musical veteran Simon Tong (The Verve, The Good The Bad & The Queen, and Gorillaz) would be the start of a unique songwriting friendship. Together they formed Erland & The Carnival and now, nearly a decade later, arrives Closing Time - the band’s third, most accomplished album yet.

“Closing Time doesn’t mark the beginning of the end; rather it marks an end to permit a new beginning,” explains Erland.

“When Summer dies it’s to let winter in, then spring opens it up again; it has to happen. It’s enjoyable when you accept that you have a limited time to make things happen to the best of your ability.”

Quiet Love the first single features long term Erland & The Carnival admirer Paul Weller and backing vocals and guitar lines.

“I decided to twist it up a little further when it kept me up all night,” Erland says of the track’s creation. “After working on it with Paul, the middle section took another lease of life. I think we all like to be alone but not for too long, we kop out and crave

Album track ‘I Am Joan’ sums up their rapport by referencing Simon’s nickname for Erland, Joan of Arc; “It’s a light-hearted play on how Erland carries troubles on his back and would rather burn at the stake than give in,” teases Simon. Elsewhere a wall of guitars with pounding John Cale-esque piano really drives ‘Birth Of A Nation’ whilst the beautifully simplistic ‘Daughter’ was written and recorded after Erland became a father for the first time - and half a bottle of whiskey. “I was trying to write and record the simplest song that can say a number of deeper things while saying something completely obvious,” says Erland. “It’s more about hopeful reassurance
than departure. To be honest, that pretty much sums up the entire record to me,”

Recorded in Damon Albarn’s studio13 with previous Erland & The Carnival engineer Steve Sedgewick and mixed by London Grammar producer Tim Bran, despite creating more than 40 songs in the process of writing the album (“Some of the song melodies and ideas on this may have even been written when I was 21 to be honest. ‘Sometimes’ certainly was,” admits Erland), it was a brilliantly spontaneous and productive time taking just over 3 days to come to fruition. “We learnt to be
incredibly disciplined” tells Simon. “It feels like pruning a tree – when you cut away the needless and weaker branches, what you get is something much fresher and stronger coming through.”

  • 1. Closing Time
    2. Wrong
    3. Quiet Love
    4. I Am Joan
    5. Radiation
    6. Is It Long ‘Til It’s Over?
    7. Birth Of A Nation
    8. That’s The Way It Should Have Begun (But It’s Hopeless)
    9. They’re Talking
    About You Again
    10. Daughter

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