Lost Worker Bee is a new EP release from Elbow, recorded to “…tide fans over until the next album.” Often EP’s contain fillers, such as remixes or alt takes, but that’s not the case here. Lost Worker Bee is formed of four new songs that would not sound out of place on any previous Elbow album.
There is a sense of mystery around the EP, with little in the way of information online, other than a few short quotes from Guy Garvey informing us that the songs are all set in Manchester and that the band are proud of the EP.
In these days of information overload, its a pleasure being able to listen to new music and use your imagination to try and figure out the meaning and influences behind songs.
Powered by urgent, jittery percussion, the title track from the EP twists and turns over Guy Harvey’s searching vocal. A Baba O’Riley referencing synth line runs through the middle section of the most musically adventurous track on this release.
“Searching the earth like a lost worker bee”
The instrumentation on Lost Worker Bee, especially the trumpets, conveys a feel of the past and also places the song in a clear northern setting.
“I know that somewhere a hard drinking girl
With kindness in reservoir looks to the sea”
My favourite track on the EP, And It Snowed reminds me a little of Bell X1, especially the piano and bass interplay. The simple, un-fussy arrangement give the lyrics an opportunity to shine through.
“You’ve done your leaving
Livid in your splendour and alone”
I love the way the music drops back to just drums and guitar midway through the song, which gives the feeling of the quietness that follows heavy snowfall.
Roll Call is the longest track on this release and powers along at a fair old pace. A chugging twin rhythm guitar line is a highlight of this song, with Guy singing about “a kid in a bath tub” and what seems to be a song of the city, offering short glimpses into the little stories that pop into view as you speed by on the 6 and a half minute journey through the track.
photo credit: tom sheehan
Usually Bright ends the EP at a slower pace. A stripped back acoustic arrangement, lightly played piano, guitar and bass provides the backdrop as Guy sings of the “Hotel in my hometown, The saddest room I ever woke in.”
The song ends abruptly as soon as the lyrics end, bringing this short EP to a close. A new Elbow album may be a while off, so I hope we are treated to another taste of new music from the band soon, either in the form of a another new EP or a single. But until then, enjoy the Lost Worker Bee EP.
Buy the Lost Worker Bee EP (MP3) on Amazon UK