Manchester rock band elbow have debuted a new single entitled “White Noise White Heat<‘ which will be featured on their upcoming album Giants of All Sizes, which is set to be released on October 11th via Polydor/Verve Records. This latest track documents the band’s lead singer and lyricist Guy Garvey’s reaction to the Grenfell Tower fire, which took the lives of 72 people in North Kensington, West London.
This track tackles themes of self-doubt, rage and confrontation, with Garvey expressing doubt about his ability as an artist to create a positive impact on the world, in light of this tragedy. “But who am I some Blarney Mantovani with a lullaby when the sky is falling in/I believe I’m giving in,” Garvey expresses, displaying his abandonment of any optimism that he once had.
“I kind of renounce all our previous records with this track, or what we are best known for,” Garvey explained in a press release. “What is the point of uplifting songs in the face of this horror?”
Grenfell Tower served as a council housing block in the North Kensington area of West London, which housed predominantly working class ethnic-minority residents. An investigation showed that a malfunctioning fridge-freezer on the fourth floor, caused the fire, however the building’s cladding was blamed for allowing the fire to spread quickly.
The use of cladding, which provided more aesthetically pleasing, yet flammable insulation for the tower block at an affordable price was criticized by many. Prominent political commentators vilified the conservative party as a result of this event, blaming the use of cheap cladding and the party’s cuts to public housing investment for exacerbating this fire.
Earlier this year elbow tackled another heavy topic with their single “Empires,” which ruminated on the banality of death. Garvey called Giants of All Sizes, “an angry, old blue lament which finds its salvation in family, friends, the band and new life.”
Photo Credit: Pamela Lin