Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 04 October 2017

Who Built The Moon: Noel Gallaghers New Cut & Paste Adventure Brings Unexpected Results

While flowing from the same, molten core of melody, songwriting style and self-belief, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' new album, Who Built The Moon? alters the singer-songwriter"s course following a two-year creative collaboration with renowned producer, DJ & composer, David Holmes. 

Bursting bubbles of perception, drilling dynamite into cracks between past and present and painting a daring portrait of the artist as a free man, Who Built The Moon? gathers vocalists and guest musicians from around the world to breathe life into eleven tracks finely poised between experimental and a jukebox of ageless influence. 

Meeting to work in Belfast and London, Gallagher and Holmes tuned into French psychedelic pop as much as classic electro, soul, rock, disco and dance on a cultured adventure into recorded sound.
 
If tracks blipping with ethereal, electronic experimentation and French spoken word start rumours of Gallagher's restlessness, then instrumentals drifting with a latent, melancholic energy, inspired by European television soundtracks confirm them. 

Setting fire to familiarity, Gallagher wrote entirely in the studio for the first time, leaping into laboratory conditions and a cut & paste adventure with Holmes, turning his back, at least temporarily, on studied solitude and six strings. 

The studio door was left open for Paul Weller (organ on Holy Mountain) and Johnny Marr (guitar and harmonica on If Love Is The Law) to not only bear witness to, but make a mark on a pivotal moment in Gallagher's ten studio album career.

 
The results are different…  Setting the placid instrumentals and hypnotic, eastern-influenced grooves alongside gutsy balcony-shakers and widescreen, cinematic walls of sound, Who Built The Moon? is an album for the apocalypse, comforting queasy listeners with shades of the Noel Gallagher on whom they rely, while taking the adventurous dancing with him into the flames.
 
David Holmes, producer of Who Built The Moon? says: 

"People are going to be surprised. I think people love Noel and they're desperate for him to make a really big, bold, uptempo beast of a record – a lot of Noel's music is quite mid-tempo. This one is fun."
 
How would Gallagher respond to control room commands to, "Stop 'playing' guitar!"and "Play me a guitar solo you can dance to!"?  Secure in the knowledge that the man challenging him had a vision to match his undimmed ambition, he entered the same, inventive space. 

The Man Who Built The Moon crystallises an outsider's view of the partnership, flooded with lush orchestration and a sense of looming drama. 

It is the sound of an experienced songwriter supported by an accomplice similarly striving meticulously for perfection, as Gallagher reveals:
 
"We took a keyboard riff we liked from an unused track and added chords. A year later we came to deal with it as a song and when we got to the chorus, David kept asking me to write a new one….again and again and again. I was ready to strangle him. 

"The one that you hear is the eighth attempt and, you know what? The annoying thing is he was right."
 
On blue-touch-paper track, Fort Knox, barely a note is sung by Gallagher, instead toying with euphoric incantations, while It's A Beautiful World bubbles with progressive, ambient electronica. Black & White Sunshine's 60s, psychedelic pop DNA canvasses for more traditionalist votes while Holy Mountain is a game of 'spot the obscure sample' amidst a joyous wall of sound. Symptomatic of the unhurried back and forth between him and Holmes, Gallagher says of the latter track:
 
"David played me the sample, so I worked out the chords and we demoed just a few, short minutes of it, taking it away on tour and playing with it. 

"When it became a song back in Belfast it was so joyous, I just had to do it justice. 

"What's more joyous than being in love, baby? So, I wrote a song about love and it's one of the best things that I've ever done."

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds"play The Brighton Centre on Sunday 22nd April 2018. New album Who Built The Moon? is released on Friday 24th November 2017. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Mike Cobley




Share    


Brighton Dome is hosting an annual one-day festival celebrating UK jazz and jazz-inspired music and culture on Sunday 22 July, and under 16s can go free! 

For too long festivals have been too male and now Byline Festival is doing something beyond the usual rhetoric….
Pic by Andrew Whitton

The Kooks new album Let's Go Sunshine is a moving, energising and melodic record and incisive in its portrait of modern British urban life

The Tom Robinson Band's debut album Power In The Darkness was first performed forty years ago in Victoria Park, London, in front of 80,000 people at Rock Against Racism's Carnival Against The Nazis, alongside Steel Pulse, The Clash and X-Ray Spex. 

The Twilight Sad have shared brand new song, I/m Not Here [missing face], a driving, motorik return from the much-loved Scots, with wailing guitars and swirling synths circling around frontman James Graham's repeated declarations of "I don't want to be around you anymore." 
Credit Carys Lavin

After receiving its UK premiere at Brighton Festival 2018, Creation (Pictures for Dorian) ran at Southbank Centre as part of LIFT festival, resulting in a nomination for the TBC Award (for productions that defy traditional categories) in The Off West End Theatre Awards.

(c) Natuurhulpcentrum Rescue Centre

Horsham-based international wildlife charity, Born Free, has rescued King – a tiny cub with a mighty name – and he is now starting a new life in his ancestral home of Africa.

Steven Page's distinctive and powerful tenor is among the most instantly recognisable voices in popular music today.

"Do I replace David Davis from the cover (and the Car boot story) or wait to see if Johnson and May join him before print day?" @TheBrexitComic

Sometimes you just have to rip it up and start again. Come early 2017, Fatherson – comprised of vocalist/guitarist Ross Leighton bassist Marc Strain and drummer Greg Walkinshaw – found themselves at a turning point. 
(c) Rob Ashton Baker 2018

While overseeing the soundtrack for T2 Trainspotting, Underworld's Rick Smith arranged a meeting with Iggy Pop in a room at the Savoy Hotel on London's Strand to discuss working on collaborative music for the film. 

For two weeks, style seekers can help raise vital funds for life saving heart research, by buying an item from the Brighton Western Road BHF shop and adding their own personal stamp to it. The best will be in with a chance of winning one of three prizes.
Pic by Paul Mansfield

The Rock House Festival 2018 brings together learning disabled bands and upcoming and established music-makers from Brighton and beyond for a day of live music at the city's Green Door Store.

The tenth anniversary of the Ride-to-Work scheme is marked by the release of Heartwork, an experimental track created by Brighton-based Paul Hartnoll of Orbital based entirely on the heartbeats of Britain's cycling commuters. 

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd