Elbow frontman Guy Garvey tells Billboard.com the U.K. group has set aside the month of May for writing new songs intended for the follow-up to last year's acclaimed "Asleep in the Back" (V2). Speaking backstage over the weekend at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., Garvey said, "we have one new song called 'Lay Down Your Cross,' which is sort of a cross between a hymn and a drinking song." He added that the next album will likely not be released until the spring of 2003. Garvey raved about the forthcoming film "24 Hour Party People," which tracks the recent history of the music scene in Elbow's hometown of Manchester, England. "People like [Stone Roses drummer] Mani and [Durutti Column principal] Vini Reilly are in the movie playing other characters," he says. "And the recreations of Joy Division and the Happy Mondays are astounding." The film opens Aug. 9 in U.S. theaters; the soundtrack, featuring the new New Order track "Here to Stay," is due July 30 from Essential. As previously reported , Elbow joins fellow Manchester natives Doves for a brief North American tour, kicking off June 3 in Seattle.
Earth, Wind & Fire lead vocalist Philip Bailey says the roots of his recent jazz album. "Soul on Jazz," stretch back to his childhood. "In elementary school, I used to rummage through my mother's friend's jazz collection," he recalls. The new album, out via Heads Up International, boasts new interpretations of Weather Report's "Indescretions," Nat "King" Cole's "Nature Boy," and a new take on the EWF hit "Keep Your Head to the Sky." The set also features two original tunes by jazz musician DJ Smash ("Bop-Skip-Doodle") and EWF keyboardist McKinley ("Unrestrained"), with lyrics for both written by Bailey's son, Sir. "When you see one of your kids really has a gift," Bailey says, "you can't fight it, because you start to understand what a blessing it's been to you." And what about EWF's own long-awaited new album? "It's still not finished," says Bailey, who is preparing for a three-week tour of Japan. "But when it's finished, hopefully we'll have some luck with it."