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 ten 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 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.