Charlatans announce first full album since death of co-founder Jon Brookes

Due in January, Modern Nature sees the group replacing their late drummer with members of New Order, Factory Floor and the Verve

Charlatans have announced their first album since the death of co-founder Jon Brookes. Due on 26 January, Modern Nature sees the group replacing their late drummer with members of New Order, Factory Floor and the Verve.

The band’s 12th studio album is described as an “upbeat”, “confident” record, inspired by Brookes’ passing as well as the yearning for an uplifting and even “soulful” response to that tragedy. “It’s quite a big word isn’t it, ‘soul’?” guitarist Mark Collins said in a statement. Multiinstrumentalist Tony Rogers recalled that Brookes had been “adamant that there was going to be another Charlatans record”.

Last February, six months after Brookes died, the surviving Charlatans reunited at their studio in Cheshire. “We were aching for the summer when we wrote [the record],” remembered frontman Tim Burgess. “It was freezing, and we were trying to write songs that made us happy.” Produced with Jim Spencer, the LP was coloured by the band’s warm, weird recent listenings: Arthur Russell, William Onyeabor, Jean-Claude Vannier, Curtis Mayfield and Serge Gainsbourg.

On drums, they recruited all three of their recent, temporary stickmen – New Order’s Stephen Morris, Factory Floor’s Gabe Gurnsey and the Verve’s Pete Salisbury – who recorded their parts on Brookes’ own kit. “Halfway through a take, [Gurnsey] stopped drumming because he felt a smack on the back of his head,” Collins claimed. “Nobody is saying we believe in things from the other side, but …”

Other contributors to the record include Big Jim Paterson of Dexys, Sean O’Hagan of the High Llamas and singer Melanie Marshall, who performs with Kate Bush. Although the new record label from the Quietus recently released a teaser called Talking in Tones, the next single, So Oh, is due on 1 December. It is streaming now on Soundcloud.

The Charlatans have released seven top 10 albums in the UK. Their last LP, 2010’s Who We Touch, peaked at No 21.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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