Noel Gallagher had to tweak lyrics to lockdown-inspired album Council Skies

1 July 2023, 20:00

Noel Gallagher on writing new album Council Skies in lockdown, his favourite Oasis tune and more

By Jenny Mensah

The former Oasis rocker told Radio X's Johnny Vaughan how much of his "reflective" album was written during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Noel Gallagher revealed how his new album was affected by lockdown and he ended up having to change some of its lyrics.

The former Oasis rocker released his fourth studio album, Council Skies, on Friday 2nd June and he's talked about how the uncertainty of the pandemic bled into his work.

Asked about the making of the new album, he told Radio X's Johnny Vaughan: "It was written predominantly in lockdown, in isolation.”

Listen to the Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds track by track podcast here

Noel Gallagher discusses Council Skies album with Johnny Vaughan
Noel Gallagher discusses Council Skies album with Johnny Vaughan. Picture: Matt Crockett/Radio X/Press

Quizzed if it was fuelled by the period: "Yeah I didn’t realise it at the time, but when I was putting it all together, the vibe and the lyrics sounded a bit reflective and I guess it was a reflective time for everyone, because none of us had ever lived through a pandemic, didn’t even know what one was and how we’d got into it and how we were going to get out of it.

“And you were watching the news and there was the conspiracy theories and all that sort of thing. I’d lock my self away in my room at home and just think, ‘What on earth is going on?’ And there’s a bit of that in there. Some of the songs are quite personal.”

READ MORE: Noel Gallagher on his divorce: "A lot of people are in the same boat after COVID"

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Open The Door, See What You Find (Official Visualiser)

The Manchester rocker, who spent much of the pandemic in Hampshire, added that being a writer helped him cope with the period, because he was able to express how he was feeling.

However, he did admit having to change some of the lyrics to the songs he wrote during the tricky period, because they contained more literal references about not being able to go outside.

He mused: "I think anyway, as a writer and artist, I think we would have navigated it better, because you could write about it. Do you know what I mean, and kind of make sense of it."

He added: "I did have to re-write a lot of the lyrics, because a lot of them were about going outside and all that kind of thing…”

Listen to the Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds track by track podcast here

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Council Skies (Official Video)

Noel Gallagher's Council Skies tracklist:

  1. I'm Not Giving Up Tonight
  2. Pretty Boy
  3. Dead to the World
  4. Open the Door, See What You Find
  5. Trying To Find a World That's Been and Gone: Part 1
  6. Easy Now
  7. Council Skies
  8. There She Blows!
  9. Love Is a Rich Man
  10. Think of a Number

Noel is currently on tour in the US with Garbage, before playing a string of festivals in the UK and finally embarking on his own arena tour in autumn this year.

READ MORE: Liam Gallagher praises Noel's "beautiful song" Dead To The World