Ed Harcourt has announced details of Monochrome To Colour, his ninth studio album, released on Friday September 18th 2020 on Point Of Departure, his second release for the label following 2018’s Beyond The End.
A much acclaimed recording artist who released his Mercury Prize nominated debut, Here Be Monsters on Heavenly Records in 2001, in recent years his has gained acclaim for his songwriting for a variety of artists.
The new album is indeed full of rapturous outreach. It was made with an interesting blend of instrumentation, ancient and modern. There’s a 1910 Hopkinson baby grand piano, and also a dulcitone, a 19th-century oddity where hammers strike an array of tuning forks. “Broken old instruments mixed with modern software,” says Ed. The latter is represented by digital drones, plus computer emulation of the Hammond Novachord, a vintage synthesizer.
Occasionally drawing on some established Harcourt inspirations – the Mozart and Beethoven beside Debussy, Satie, Max Richter and the soundtracks of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis – there are also a couple of noir-ish interludes, albeit underpinned by groove-led drum patterns from Clive Deamer (After The Carnival and Last Rites). But the album’s signature mood is a kind of hyper-real elation. The title track has an echo of Vangelis’s Chariots Of Fire soundtrack.