NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS announce new album ‘Council Skies’

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Credit: Matt Crockett

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds today reveal details of the forthcoming album ‘Council Skies’, released on 2nd June via Sour Mash Records. Available on CD, LP, HD Digital, 3LP and 2CD Deluxe limited-edition formats featuring remixes by The Cure’s Robert Smith, and Pet Shop Boys. Full format details are below.

From the evocative album title to the cover art to the lyrics themselves, ‘Council Skies’ sees Noel Gallagher reclaiming his past and paying homage to his Mancunian roots. His most varied and accomplished solo record to date, Noel’s fourth solo studio album is a record framed by confidence, risk-taking, surefooted creative freedom, and great emotional depth.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds today also release a brand new single and music video ‘Easy Now’, taken from the forthcoming album. Infused with psychedelia, the track gently swells and is beautifully framed by backing vocals and waves of organ chords.

Featuring one of the world’s breakthrough new talents and Critics Choice Award-nominated Milly Alcock, who recently starred as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in the HBO smash hit series and Golden Globe-winning House of the Dragon plus a cameo from Noel himself, the new music video sees the protagonist bursting with emotion as ‘Easy Now’s transcendent power takes over. ‘Easy Now’ was directed by multiple UK Music Video Awards winner, Colin Solal Cardo.

Watch the music video for ‘Easy Now’ – BELOW:

‘Council Skies’ was recorded at Noel’s own Lone Star Sound Recording Studios in London, with the album’s lusciously orchestrated strings recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. Produced by Noel with long-time collaborator Paul ‘Strangeboy’ Stacey, the album also features performances from Johnny Marr on three tracks, including recent single ‘Pretty Boy’. ‘Council Skies’ takes its title from a book by revered northern illustrator and friend of Noel, artist Pete McKee. It covers themes of youthful yearning and unbridled ambition.

Speaking of the album, Noel says: “It’s going back to the beginning. Daydreaming, looking up at the sky and wondering about what life could be … that’s as true to me now as it was in the early ‘90s. When I was growing up in poverty and unemployment, music took me out of that,” he says. “Top of the Pops on TV transformed your Thursday night into this fantasy world, and that’s what I think music should be. I want my music to be elevating and transforming in some way.”

The artwork, shot by renowned Manchester photographer Kevin Cummins, sees Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ live equipment setup placed on the original centre spot of what was Maine Road Football Stadium, with this year marking 100 years since the ground was opened as the former home of Noel’s beloved Manchester City FC.

Throughout the accompanying album artwork, Cummins captures locations poignant to Noel’s formative years – culminating with a striking image of Manchester’s Piccadilly train station, marking the moment Noel left his home city for London. This visual representation perfectly encapsulates the themes, journey and emotional heart of ‘Council Skies’.

New single ‘Easy Now’ follows the recent release of ‘Pretty Boy’ – the first track to be taken from the new album which was acclaimed by fans and critics alike and received widespread national radio support, added to the A list across all key networks.

June 2021 saw the release of ‘Back The Way We Came: Vol 1 (2011-2021)’ – a diverse Best Of album marking a decade of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. This Gold-certified album was the bands’ 4th consecutive UK Number 1 and the 12th UK Number 1 album across Noel’s career. 2021 also saw Noel named as Record Store Day’s official ambassador.

Last summer Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds headlined a host of outdoor live shows culminating in a career-spanning performance at Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage to one of the weekend’s biggest crowds. UK live dates for this summer have recently been announced – details below – with more headline shows to follow before the end of the year.

‘Council Skies’ is available to pre-order now on CD, heavyweight vinyl with bonus 7” featuring an exclusive acoustic version of ‘Pretty Boy’, LP picture disc plus various HD digital formats including a Dolby Atmos spatial audio version. Deluxe limited-edition formats will also be released including a 3LP and 2CD featuring remixes by The Cure’s Robert Smith, Pet Shop Boys and a stunning Radio 2 session version of ‘Live Forever’. A lyric sheet of title track ‘Council Skies’ is included with all album pre-orders via the official store.

Council Skies
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – ‘Council Skies’ packshot © Sour Mash Records 2023

‘Council Skies’ Tracklist:

I’m Not Giving Up Tonight

Pretty Boy

Dead To The World

Open The Door, See What You Find

Trying To Find A World That’s Been And Gone

Easy Now

Council Skies

There She Blows!

Love Is A Rich Man

Think Of A Number

Bonus Track – We’re Gonna Get There In The End

Deluxe Album Tracklist:

Disc 1:

I’m Not Giving Up Tonight

Pretty Boy

Dead To The World

Open The Door, See What You Find

Trying To Find A World That’s Been And Gone

Easy Now

Council Skies

There She Blows!

Love Is A Rich Man

Think Of A Number

Disc 2:

Don’t Stop…

We’re Gonna Get There In The End

Mind Games

Pretty Boy (Instrumental)

Dead To The World (Instrumental)

Council Skies (Instrumental)

Think Of A Number (Instrumental)

I’m Not Giving Up Tonight (David Holmes Remix)

Think Of A Number (Pet Shop Boys Magic Eye 12” Remix)

Pretty Boy (Robert Smith Remix)

Council Skies (The Reflex Revision)

Flying On The Ground (Radio 2 Session, 08.09.21)

You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (Radio 2 Session, 08.09.21)

Live Forever (Radio 2 Session, 08.09.21)

2023 UK Headline Shows

21 July, Buckinghamshire, PennFest

28 July, London, Crystal Palace Bowl

05 August, Saffron Waldon, Essex, Audley End

19 August, Monmouthshire, Caldicot Castle

20 August, Sedgefield, Country Durham, Hardwick Festival

26 August, Manchester, Wythenshawe Park

Tickets are available now here


Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as hosting interviews for the weekly XS Noize Podcast.Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.