Former Blur guitarist Graham Coxon is busy recording the follow-up to “Happiness in Magazines,” released earlier this year via Astralwerks. Coxon tells Billboard.com, “The emotion is a lot more edgier. It’s about the dreaded L-O-V-E from all sides; from the lustier sort of viewpoints to jealous viewpoints and to downright sentimentality.”
While “Happiness” veers from ballads to rockers to pop songs, Coxon describes the eight tracks Coxon he has down as “bipolar, erratic” in a lyrical sense. Sonically, half the new tracks are shaping up to be fast and furious, while the rest are “really mellow and melancholy.”
Coxon is working again with producer Stephen Street, furthering a relationship forged when recording Blur albums as well as “Happiness.” “Creative control is the ultimate for a self-obsessed lunatic,” he says. “I try not to be control freakish about it, but with my own stuff I started to be that way, because I was so used to being in a group. But after awhile, you sort of cry out for other people’s opinions and advice, which is why I got a producer in the first place.”
Last week, Coxon kicked off a two-week North American tour at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. “I’m looking forward to being here and seeing the response from Americans, where they aren’t afraid to be enthusiastic,” he said. Two new songs, “Gimme Some Love” and “I Can’t Think of Your Skin,” were unveiled at Astralwerks’ label showcase.
After the North American run, Coxon is looking forward to a relatively quiet summer. “I’d like to do some festivals, but mainly rest,” he says. “Take some time off, do some artwork for the next album. And decorate the bathroom.”