Elvis Costello has unveiled roiling new song, “No Flag,” which is accompanied by an animated lyric video.
Elvis Costello and the Imposters’ most recent LP is their 2018 studio album, Look Now.
Although he recorded the track in February, according to a statement, the song is fitting for the current frustrations plaguing the world. “No time for this kind of love/No flag waving high above,” Costello sings. “No sign for the dark place that I live/No God for the damn that I don’t give.”
Elvis Costello’s keyboard player of 43 years, Steve Nieve, has been doing a daily live-stream show from his home in France for more than three weeks, in which he often plays the compositions of his longtime musical partner. Easter Sunday’s webcast featured a surprise half-hour appearance by Costello himself, who joined Nieve for remote collaborations on several old songs as well as a brand new one, with plenty of chat in between about the pandemic and discussing recording projects that are in the can and yet to come.
Costello revealed that in February, they’d gone into a studio in Paris to record nine songs in two days with a group of local musicians Nieve had assembled — tracks that he hopes to release soon if he can get back into a studio to mix them. They performed the “world premiere” of a new song, “Hey Clockface,” near the end of the webcast, a number that, although they didn’t specify, presumably was part of those Parisian sessions.
Lately Costello began a two hour, 26-song masterclass, with a setlist that spans much of his back catalogue and in which stone cold classics come along as regularly as buses. Perhaps his cancer scare in 2018 that resulted in cancelled tour dates has given him a jolt, but he seems to relish every second of this return to his teenage stomping ground, making a grand entrance with arms raised like a champion boxer. Costello usually plays seated venues now, but the standing stalls and boisterous crowd make for an electric atmosphere. There is, perhaps, another reason for the singer-songwriter’s vintage form. He explains that his Liverpudlian mother, Lilian, is in the audience, which he hadn’t expected. She has been very ill and he reveals that she could have died, so Costello pays tribute to the “extraordinary women at Arrowe Park hospital who did so much for her. I can’t tell you how much it means that she’s here tonight”.
“I decided to also name the tracks that make these albums special to me,” he explained. “So, if nothing is written, head straight for the title track or assume that the whole damned thing is irresistible. (faroutmagazine)
“This is also a list of where I began and where I stopped listening. There are huge gaps and blind spots. Unsurprisingly, I favour songwriters over players, but any hit parade of great singers would have to include Johnny Hodges.
“Making this list made me listen all over again.”
Here it is, Elvis Costello’s 500 favourite albums: