Elbow, recently crowned victors of the 2008 Nationwide Mercury Music Prize, plans to follow its prize-winning set “The Seldom Seen Kid” (Fiction/Polydor) by working on an album of children’s music and an accompanying animated film.
“We initially thought that it would be great to make music for children because the lads in the band have got kids and they were saying how little really decent music for children there is. The more that we thought about, it the more that we liked the idea,” frontman Guy Garvey tells Billboard.com. “We’ve quite often been up for having songs on children’s animated films, but we thought that it would be great to actually be at the starting point for that process.”
According to Garvey, work on the as-yet-untitled project will take place alongside writing and recording of the group’s official fifth album, with the band set to go into the studio to begin preliminary work on both records prior to its fall U.K./European tour. The Manchester-based band will then resume writing and recording in early 2009.
“It might not be something that’s complete before the next record,” Garvey explains. “The first thing to do is find the story and that’s great fun to research. I want to do something that really fires kids’ imaginations. I think you can go somewhere in writing for children that you can’t do with adults. I think adults would just say, ‘Oh, that’s bizarre’ and shut their ears. Whereas [when writing for children] you can really go absolutely nuts and kids will follow you and love it.”
Elaborating on plans for a proposed animated film to accompany the album, Garvey cited Jeff Wayne’s 1978 concept album “The War of the Worlds,” based around H.G. Wells’ novel, as a loose inspiration for the project. Band members would take a direct hand in choosing who will animate and voice the film, once a theme and narrative has been decided on.
“I thinking that’s it going to be something to do with flying [in] dreams,” says the singer. “It’s got to be something that not only works for us, but that works for the kids and when it’s read to them that they can get into. That’s what I love about it. It’s the most honest thing that we could do right now.”
“The Seldom Seen Kid” has spent the last two weeks in the U.K. top 10 thanks to the sales impact of the Mercury win. It moved from No. 61 to No. 7 in the week after the victory; U.K. entertainment retailer HMV said its sales of the album increased by 688%.