Delving into the archives proved to be an inspiration for the upcoming Texas album, according to Sharleen Spiteri.
Hi, the band’s 10th album, is released next month and sees the band look back on their stellar career while also fixed firmly on the future.
In 2018, Spiteri and bass guitarist Johnny McElhone found some outtakes from the original White on Blonde sessions that they forgot existed.
Initially they thought these undiscovered gems could be released as a ‘lost’ album but listening to the tracks inspired them to write new material and head back into the studio.
“Our excitement at finding this treasure trove of songs collided with our excitement back then and, unplanned, new songs started coming,” Sharleen said. “You could say we were inspired by ourselves!”
Three of the songs on the new album were written in lockdown, in Scotland, Wales, LA and Sweden.
Collaborations include Dark Fire, written with Richard Hawley, which recalls the spirit of a slow dance at a high school prom while Look What You’ve Done sees Sharleen duet with Clare Grogan of Altered Images.
Mr Haze draws on Motown with a Donna Summer sample, while Unbelievable is described as a haunting piano ballad.
“We don’t usually do ballads,” Sharleen admitted. “But this one really stuck. The words are very intimate and personal while the music sounds really epic.”
Just Wanna Be Liked recalls the band’s roots, equal parts Morricone and Wim Wenders.
“All our albums have cinematic songs,” Sharleen says. “Morricone in particular is still a huge influence. We’re referencing our past but also writing from the position we’re in now. Being able to stand back from what you’ve achieved gives you a different perspective. Our aim has only ever been to make great music.”
Hi, which also features the recently released collaboration with Wu Tang Clan as the title track, is out on May 28, with the band touring in early 2022.
Sharleen Spiteri is this week’s P.S. Magazine big interview. Get your copy inside The Sunday Post
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