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When unassuming young Orkney music-maker Erland Cooper picked up his guitar and travelled the length of the country to play a show in Londonâ€™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 bandâ€™s third, most accomplished album yet.
â€œClosing Time doesnâ€™t mark the beginning of the end; rather it marks an end to permit a new beginning,â€ explains Erland.
â€œWhen Summer dies itâ€™s to let winter in, then spring opens it up again; it has to happen. Itâ€™s enjoyable when you accept that you have a limited time to make things happen to the best of your ability.â€
Quiet Love the first single features long term Erland & The Carnival admirer Paul Weller and backing vocals and guitar lines.
â€œI decided to twist it up a little further when it kept me up all night,â€ Erland says of the trackâ€™s creation. â€œAfter 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 â€˜I Am Joanâ€™ sums up their rapport by referencing Simonâ€™s nickname for Erland, Joan of Arc; â€œItâ€™s a light-hearted play on how Erland carries troubles on his back and would rather burn at the stake than give in,â€ teases Simon. Elsewhere a wall of guitars with pounding John Cale-esque piano really drives â€˜Birth Of A Nationâ€™ whilst the beautifully simplistic â€˜Daughterâ€™ was written and recorded after Erland became a father for the first time - and half a bottle of whiskey. â€œI was trying to write and record the simplest song that can say a number of deeper things while saying something completely obvious,â€ says Erland. â€œItâ€™s more about hopeful reassurance
than departure. To be honest, that pretty much sums up the entire record to me,â€
Recorded in Damon Albarnâ€™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 (â€œSome of the song melodies and ideas on this may have even been written when I was 21 to be honest. â€˜Sometimesâ€™ certainly was,â€ admits Erland), it was a brilliantly spontaneous and productive time taking just over 3 days to come to fruition. â€œWe learnt to be
incredibly disciplinedâ€ tells Simon. â€œIt feels like pruning a tree â€“ when you cut away the needless and weaker branches, what you get is something much fresher and stronger coming through.â€
1. Closing Time
3. Quiet Love
4. I Am Joan
6. Is It Long â€˜Til Itâ€™s Over?
7. Birth Of A Nation
8. Thatâ€™s The Way It Should Have Begun (But Itâ€™s Hopeless)
9. Theyâ€™re Talking
About You Again